All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

91

Freddie Redd's Movie and a Concert at Barnsdale Park

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
The Freddie Redd Septet threw a party for bebop at the plush Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, with a little help from the city and Rocco Somazzi. Choosing an enviable array of LA allstars, Redd and Co. played 12 classics from the bebop era with steam and enthusiasm. To sweeten the deal, early arrivals were treated to a rare showing of Shirley Clarke's 1961 film, The Connection, featuring footage of a Freddy Redd Quartet featuring Jackie McLean playing Redd's film score.

Originally a long running well traveled play, the film adaptation captures the heavy claustrophobia of the one set Living Theatre staging. Eight or ten men grow increasingly junk sick waiting for the man in a dingy apartment. Happily, four of the men are the Freddie Redd Quartet, who despite various physical conditions play consistently cool skillful up-tempo bebop when they can rouse themselves. The young Redd plays it surly, while the young Jackie McLean wears a charismatic glow.

A complex subplot involves two men filming the waiting, the fix, and the aftermath for a documentary, the director succumbing to the junky urgings to give it a try. The first one's free. Throughout, the participants rant, complain, philosophize, dream, and attack eachother, both before and after the arrival of "Cowboy. The two man camera team device facilitates jump cuts and a necessary roughness. The quartet's spontaneous outpourings fuel the narrative's momentum while offering a respite from the dialogue.

After a short intermission, Redd, bassist Herb Mickman, and drummer Clarence Johnston took the stage to play Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time. Herman Riley entered stage left blowing. His ornate, hair raising improvisations thrilled the near capacity audience throughout the evening. His ideas flowed and gushed in torrents that swept through each composition with authority. Joining Riley in the fast lane, Zane Musa blistered his alto whenever allowed to solo. Natty in a hipster's suit, Musa laid it on the line everytime, blowing lung busting lines and soulful howls.

LA horn great Sal Marquez played his share of virtuoso runs on trumpet and flugelhorn, but also varied the intensity with smaller, less cluttered figures. His muted trumpet on "Round Midnight, caught the desolation of the piece, although compared to his open work, the muted segments were undermiked. Open, the full impact of his formidable skill connected, his flugelhorn especially oozing honeyed brass. Trombonist Phil Ranelin's unique phrasing and musical wisdom shone through, utilizing space and understatement to stroll through harrowing tempos.

With a small as broad as his signature hat's brim, Mr. Redd accompanied the formidable ensemble with his characteristic elegance and grace, even entering into call and response with the volcanic Musa. He played striking variations on "Round Midnight, and let his right hand run on "Ornithology. On a full throttled "Cherokee, he essayed seamless flow. Mickman and Johnston kept everyone's feet on the floor, the former contributing occasional spidery solos, the latter rock solid rhythm.

With a powerhouse band of top instrumentalists, Redd proved the timeless appeal of the classic bebop repertoire.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium Live Reviews
The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium
by Roger Weisman
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre Live Reviews
Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read Marbin at The Firmament Live Reviews
Marbin at The Firmament
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Like A Jazz Machine 2017" Live Reviews Like A Jazz Machine 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard" Live Reviews Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "David Virelles & Nosotros at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews David Virelles & Nosotros at Jazz Standard
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017" Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club" Live Reviews SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater" Live Reviews Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 19, 2017