Sonny Red is not your household name when it comes to alto sax players. Although Red played with Blakey, Curtis Fuller, Paul Quinichette, Donald Byrd, Grant Green and Blue Mitchell, to name a few, he still never became well known and this is a shame because he adds a unique voice to the alto. He died in 1981.
Sonny Red made two wonderful albums in 1961, both of which were released on Jazzland and long out of print. Thank Fantasy for combining these two LPs, The Mode and Images and putting them on one 77:05 CD. Just check the personnel listing for these albums.
Both of these albums have their melodic side as well as bopish lines that may remind those unfamiliar with Red with Jackie McLean rather than Paul Desmond, to whom Red bears no resemblance for an alto comparison. If you like '50's - '60's Blue Note style bop you will enjoy Red, Blue & Green.
Track Listing: Moon River, I Like The Likes Of You, Super-20, Bye, Bye Blues, The Mode, Never, Never Land, Ko-Kee, Images, Blues For Donna, Dodge City, Blue Sonny, The Rhythm Thing, Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered.
Personnel: Sonny Red-alto sax, Grant Green-guitar, Barry Haris-piano, George Tucker-bass, Jimmy Cobb-drums on 1,3,5. Cedar Walton-piano, George Tucker-bass, Jimmy Cobb-bass on 2,4,6,7. Blue Mitchell-trumpet (8-10 only), Grant Green-guitar (11-12 only), Barry Harris-piano, George Tucker-bass, Lex Humphries, Jimmy Cobb (11-13 only) - drums.
I love jazz because it's been a life's work.
I was first exposed to jazz by my father.
I met Hampton Hawes.
The best show I ever attended was Les McCann.
The first jazz record I bought was Herbie Hancock.
My advice to new listeners is to listen at a comfortable volume.