Legends of the Saxophone
This session was recorded live in 1979 at a now de-funk night club called Christos in downtown San Francisco. The crowd was treated to an old fashioned jam session featuring Sonny Stitt and Red Holloway with the local rhythm section comprised of the Bay Area's best, Ed Kelly on piano, William "Smiley' Winters on drums and Harley White Sr. on bass. When Stitt was asked why he was touring with another saxophonist he replied; "I have to have something to chew on". While both where playing tenor saxophone Red Holloway was heard to reply; "Every time I cut you, you go to that alto" Everyone was treated to a rare musical opportunity to hear history being played. The CD is the real deal when it comes to bebop classics. "ENJOY" Harley White Sr. Edward 'Sonny' Stitt, born February 2, 1924 in Boston, died July 22, 1982 in Washington, D.C. Played alto, tenor and baritone saxes and recorded, according to most counts, more than 150 albums. Although disparaged early in his career as a mere imitator of Charlie Parker, he outlived Bird by more than 25 years and left a recorded legacy the equivalent of only a handful of saxophonists. He played more tenor saxophone during the '50s to more greatly distance himself from Bird, and his statements on tenor reflect a heavy influence of Lester Young. He influenced musicians as diverse as Frank Foster, Booker Ervin and Ken Peplowski, according to their own accounts. Famous for his participation in major 'cutting' sessions with everyone, he was well known for his ability to play quickly and accurately across the most complicated chord changes. He also knew virtually every popular song and played the blues with authority and feeling. In 1967 "Red Holloway" moved to Los Angeles and in 1969 became the coordinator of talent and member of the house band at the famed Parisian Room. This association lasted for the next fifteen years and saw Red hire virtually everyone who was anyone in the world of jazz and blues. Red quit as talent coordinator for the Parisian Room after his request for a cost-of-living raise was denied. The club closed eight months later. From 1977 to 1982, he and altoist Sonny Stitt became a duo and cut two records on Catalyst: Forecast; Partners - Sonny and Red. In fact, it was Sonny who encouraged Red to take up the alto saxophone, believing that anyone who could also play clarinet, flute, piccolo, piano, bass, drums, and violin could probably master yet another instrument. Sonny was right, and Red is equally proficient on both tenor and alto. In The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies, Leonard Feather wrote that 'Holloway is capable of generating great excitement with his big sound and hard-driving, mainstream-modern style.'