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Freddie Redd: Redd's Blues

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Many times in the history of jazz, album titles have played word games with artists' names. Think of Grant Green and Green Street and Green is Beautiful. There is also Freddie Hubbard, with Ready for Freddie, Hub-Tones, and Hub-Cap. You may not have heard of the bop-pianist Freddie Redd, who not to be left out, made Shades of Redd and Redd’s Blues. The latter album, recorded in 1961, has been released now for the first time as part of Blue Note’s limited edition Connoisseur series.

Why would this album interest you? Well, you may not have heard of Freddie Redd, but you will have definitely heard of sidemen Jackie McLean, Tina Brooks and Paul Chambers. The other good news is that Freddie Redd had a good ear for a nice bop melody, and most of the themes feature great harmonic interplay between the three horns. One reason for the obscurity of Freddie Redd may be his rather lacklustre soloing, which although melodic, lacks the necessary pyrotechnics. As a consequence the three horn players take the more interesting solos. Still you can’t complain; this CD has an all-star cast and is classic 1960s Blue Note. Not only that, but unreleased 1960s Blue Note. The ultimate deciding factor in this album is your opinion of Jackie McLean. I personally find his off-sharp tone a little grating. But many listeners like it, in which case you'd be almost certainly be Reddy for Freddie (groan).

Track Listing: Now; Cute Doot; Old Spice; Blues for Betsy; Somewhere; Love lost

Personnel: Freddie Redd: piano; Benny Bailey: trumpet; Jackie McLean: Alto saxophone; Tina Brooks: tenor saxophone; Paul Chambers: Bass; Sir John Godfrey: drums.

Title: Redd's Blues | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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