Inspired by Charlie Parker and then Jackie McLean, the widely experienced, Detroit-born altoist Sonny Red, nee Sylvester Kyner (1932-1980) was an archetypal Motor City bopper, who, like many of his confreres there, also absorbed the blues-drenched lines of pianist Bud Powell. Forthright, direct, unpretentious, a skilled soloist with a strong feeling for the blues, he played and recorded with some of the finest jazzmen around.
The presence here of such luminous talents as, most notably, pianist Barry Harris, along with fellow pianist Tommy Flanagan, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, saxophonists Clifford Jordan and Yusef Lateef, and guitarist Grant Green left no doubt about his stature among them.
Despite this and the fact that he also worked with such marquee names as Art Blakey, Kenny Dorham, Donald Byrd, Curtis Fuller and Paul Quinichette, he never quite made the breakthrough his skills suggested he would and his recordings have been difficult to find.
This collection of quartet, quintet and sextet settings brings together four albums he made for the Jazzland label during one of the most productive spells of his career and shows why he was held in such esteem by his contemporaries.
01. Brother B (Red) 4:58
02. All I Do Is Dream of You (Freed-Brown) 4:01
03. The New Blues (Red) 5:30
04. Ditty (Red) 4:33
05. 'Teef (Red) 6:24
06. Breezin' (Red) 6:04
07. A Handful of Stars (Lawrence-Shapiro) 4:40
08. If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You
09. Cumberland Court (Jordan) 3:49
10. A Story Tale (Jordan) 4:48
11. You're Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson) 5:38
12. Defiance (Red) 3:24
13. Prints (Red) 6:00
14. Hip Pockets (Red-Jordan) 5:00
15. They Say It's Wonderful (Berlin) 5:13
16. If I Didn't Care (Lawrence) 5:14
01. I Like the Likes of You (Duke-Harburg) 4:20
02. Bye, Bye Blues (Hamm-Bennett-Lown-Gray) 4:32
03. Never, Never Land (Comden-Green-Styne) 6:29
04. Ko-kee (Red) 4:15
05. Images (Red) 6:30
06. Blues for Donna (Red) 4:46
07. Dodge City (Red) 5:19
08. Moon River (Mancini-Mercer) 6:10
09. Super-20 (Red) 5:35
10. The Mode (Red) 8:47
11. Blue Sonny (Red) 8:29
12. The Rhythm Thing (Red) 5:10
13. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
CD 1, tracks #1-8, from the Jazzland album
"Breezing" (JLP 932)
CD 1, tracks #9-16, from the Jazzland album
"Clifford Jordan & Sonny Red - A Story Tale"
CD 2, tracks #1-4 & #8-10, from the
Jazzland album "The Mode" (JLP 959)
CD 2, tracks #5-7 & #11-13, from the
Jazzland album "Images" (JLP 974)
Personnel on "Breezing":
Sonny Red Quartet and Sextet
Sonny Red (as); Barry Harris (p); Bob Cranshaw (b); Albert 'Tootie' Heath (d). Added on tracks #1,3,5 & 6: Blue Mitchell (tp), Yusef Lateef (ts).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, November 3, 1960
Personnel on "A Story Tale":
Clifford Jordan and Sonny Red Quintet
Sonny Red (as); Clifford Jordan (ts); Tommy Flanagan (p); Art Davis (b); Elvin Jones (d). On tracks #9,10 & 16: Ronnie Mathews, replaces Flanagan.
Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York City, February 14, 1961
Personnel on "The Mode" (CD 2, #1-4):
Sonny Red Quartet
Sonny Red (as); Cedar Walton (p); George Tucker (b); Jimmy Cobb (d).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, May 29, 1961
Personnel on "Images" (CD 2, #5-7):
Sonny Red Quintet
Blue Mitchell (tp); Sonny Red (as); Barry Harris (p); George Tucker (b); Lex Humphries (d).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, June 25, 1961
Personnel on "The Mode" (CD 2, #8-10) / "Images" (CD 2, #11-13)
Sonny Red Quintet:
Sonny Red (as); Barry Harris (p); Grant Green (g except #13); George Tucker (b); Jimmy Cobb (d).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, December 14, 1961
Original recordings produced by Orrin Keepnews.
Ray Fowler & Bill Stoddard (CD 1 #9-16)
Original cover designs by Ken Deardoff.
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered