Red Rodney (tp, vcl), Ira Sullivan (ts, tp), Billy Root (ts), Norman Simmons, Tommy Flanagan (p), Victor Sproles, Oscar Pettiford, Jay Cave (b), Roy Haynes, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Frank Young (d)
Reference: FSRCD 554
Bar code: 8427328605540
Red Rodney was a brash young trumpeter who had the mark of greatness before narcotics cut short his career. His lowest point came in January 1953, when a judge in Chicago sentenced him to Leavenworth for five years. Rodney was released on parole in March 1955, having served two years of his sentence, and shortly thereafter he recorded an album for Fantasy (tracks #1-12).
His luck ran out again in November 1955, and he was sentenced to serve the remainder of his term at the Lexington, Ky., federal narcotics hospital. His release on June 5, 1957 was something of an event among aficionados, and the results of his recording contract with Signal (tracks #13-15 on CD-1, and #1-3 on CD-2), are proof of just how much he still had to offer to jazz. He got hooked again for a while after that, until early 1959, when he made a new and briefbut successfulcomeback to the scene, cutting a new LP, this time for Argo.
Remarkably, the three stunning albums included in this set were made while Red was living on borrowed time, between one incarceration and the next. I can only repeat what Bird said he once explained about addiction. Dont do as I do, do as I say.
"You know, I sure would like to see a lot more respectability attached to jazz and jazz musicians. And I'd also like to see artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Lennie Tristano, and Miles Davis playing only in concert halls, where they'd get a chance to blow their greatest and not have to make any concessions."
—Red Rodney, 1950
-Modern Music from Chicago
"Trumpeter Red Rodney first met up with multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan on records back in 1955; they would form a regular group together 25 years later. This Fantasy date, finds Rodney joined by Sullivan (doubling on tenor and trumpet), pianist Norman Simmons, bassist Victor Sproles and drummer Roy Haynes. Six of the songs are originals (five by Simmons, who was responsible for all of the arrangements) and they are very much in the modern bop mainstream of the time. In addition, there are six standards including "I Love The Rhythm in a Riff" which has a rare Rodney vocal. A fine straight-ahead date."
-Red Rodney: 1957
"Also at various times made available by Savoy (on an album titled Fiery) and Signal, this LP was one of trumpeter Red Rodney's finest sessions of the 1950s. "Red Arrow" features Rodney and Ira Sullivan trading off on an exciting trumpet battle. The other five selections (which include a lengthy "Star Eyes" and "Stella By Starlight") have Sullivan on tenor, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Oscar Pettiford and either Philly Joe Jones or Elvin Jones on drums joining Rodney. The LP will be difficult to find, but this bebopper's delight is worth the search."
Both by Scott Yanow -All Music Guide