The first time on CD, the reissue of Red Rodney’s 1980 sessions at The Village Vanguard marks the beginning of his comeback and finds the leader’s trumpet work in fine form. Two experienced horn players and a young rhythm section made for a strong program with hard bop drama and pure musical ballad sentiment. In the liner notes, Rodney states, "I was determined to associate myself with young musicians in order to move ahead with the music of today."
Ira Sullivan picks up the flugelhorn as Red Rodney carefully interweaves muted trumpet lines around Johnny Mandel’s "A Time For Love." And they both opt for flugelhorns on "What Can We Do" with Sullivan coming from the right channel, Rodney from the left. Again on the final track, the two seasoned veterans perform together on trumpet and flugelhorn. Jack Walrath, who wrote half the tunes on this program, contributed much to Rodney’s band library over the years. It’s Walrath’s "Come Home to Red" that allows the leader to pour his open trumpet sound over the room (backed by Sullivan’s gentle flute fills) as a reminder that one of his earliest influences was Harry James. After a long career with several disturbing setbacks, it’s nice to remember that Red Rodney succeeded in the end by passing the torch on triumphantly to the next generation.
Track Listing: Lodgellian Mode; A Time For Love; Mr. Oliver; What Can We Do; Come Home to Red; Blues in the Guts.
Personnel: Red Rodney- trumpet, flugelhorn; Ira Sullivan- soprano sax, tenor sax, flute, flugelhorn; Garry Dial- piano; Paul Berner- bass; Tom Whaley- drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.