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Freddie Redd Quartet: The Music from The Connection

Eddie Becton By

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Curtis Mayfield is often remembered for penning the popular theme "Freddie's Dead." The irony of this title echoes sentiments of out-of-the-loop jazzers who thought iconic Blue Note pianist Freddie Redd made the passage. Redd, the lyrical comrade of Horace Silver and disciple of Bud Powell, is still very much alive and well, performing more regularly in Los Angeles.

The Music from The Connection reflects the turmoil, redemption, and salvation of its characters. The Connection was actually a 1959 play, and the members of the band—Redd, Jackie McLean (alto saxophone), Michael Mattos (bass), and Larry Ritchie (drums)—were cast in it as themselves. Redd astutely suggested that band members play themselves so as to increase their notoriety and recognition.

This disc is valuable not only for its significance as the original score to its namesake play, but also for Redd's ability to musically capture a turbulent social climate. The sensibility and musical articulation are outstanding. And once again, Redd demonstrates his own voice along with giants he's influenced and vice versa. One of the most talented pianists of the hard bop era, Redd is still very much alive and his music always will be.


Track Listing: Who Killed Cock Robin?; Wigglin'; Music Forever; Time to Smile; Sister Salvation/Jim Dunn's Dilemma; O.D.

Personnel: Freddie Redd: piano; Jackie McLean: alto saxophone; Michael Mattos: bass; Larry Ritchie: drums.

Title: The Music from The Connection | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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