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Red Rodney - Then and Now (1992)

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Red Rodney - Then and Now (1992)

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01. Woody 'n' You
02. Marmaduke
03. Little Suede Shoes
04. Un Poco Loco
05. The Scene Is Clean
06. Early Autumn
07. Confirmation
08. Congo Blues
09. If You Could See Me Now
10. Yard's Pad
11. Crazeology
12. The Interview

Red Rodney (flugelhorn)
Chris Potter (alto & tenor saxophones)
Garry Dial (piano)
Jay Anderson (bass)
Jimmy Madison (drums)

Recorded at BMG Studio B, New York on May 13 & 14, 1992.

 

Red Rodney's final recording (cut two years before his death) finds the 64-year-old sticking exclusively to flugelhorn and still displaying strong chops. Performing with his working quintet (Chris Potter on tenor and alto, pianist Garry Dial, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jimmy Madison) Rodney returns to his roots, performing 11 bop-era standards with a twist. Producer Bob Belden helped reharmonize many of the songs, and even though the original melodies are stated, the results sound more modern than one would expect. Potter (showing a great deal of potential that he has since realized) and Dial have many fine solos, while Rodney sounds pretty strong, pushing himself. The CD concludes with Rodney talking for 9½ minutes about his experiences in the bebop days and about this project, a perfect conclusion to a successful and important career. --- Scott Yanow, allmusic.com

 

Red Rodney was a dynamic and creative player, displaying inventiveness and thorough mastery of his instrument in all bop and post-bop settings. Primarily known as Charlie Parker’s trumpet player, Red Rodney went on to become a legend himself and made several dramatic comebacks during his career to solidify his reputation as a bebop trumpeter and keeper of the flame.

Rodney was a highly experienced big band trumpeter but was already experimenting with bebop. In 1949, with his reputation as a rising bop star fast gaining ground, he joined the Charlie Parker quintet (via an introduction from Dizzy Gillespie). For the next two years he was acclaimed as one of the best bebop trumpeters around and was certainly among the first white players to gain credibility and acceptance in the field.

In the later years, Rodney took up the flugelhorn to great effect. Playing better than ever before, he was in demand all over the world for clubs, concert halls and festivals and in his final years some of the best musicians of the younger generation, notably the remarkable saxophonist Chris Potter, queued up to join his band. In 1990, Rodney was inducted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame. Three years later Rodney released the album Then And Now, a compilation of originals and modernized jazz standards. In 1992, Rodney traveled to England to perform with drummer Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones. The subsequent year, Red made several prominent appearances, appearing at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, and at the White House where he performed for president Bill Clinton.

“I don’t play like I played back in the early days with Bird. I play like today and that’s what these young musicians help bring to me. I give them roots and traditions from fifty years of playing this music. They weren’t around when this music was born, but they had quite a bit of experience playing it because any Jazz musician has to go through the Bebop era.”. (Red Rodney) ---redrodney.jazzgiants.net

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