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JLP 32
Breezing: SONNY RED

JLP-1 Front
JLP-1 back.jpg

Sonny Red (as) Blue Mitchell (tp) Yusef Lateef (ts) Barry Harris (p) Bob Cranshaw (b) Albert Heath (drs) (* these four selections by Sonny Red and rhythm section only)

Recorded in New York; November 3, 1960


  1. Brother B. (5:02) (Sonny Red)

  2. All I Do Is Dram of You (4:03) (Freed-Brown) (*)

  3. The New Blues (5:34) (Sonny Red)

  4. Ditty (4:36) (Sonny Red) (*)


  1. ‘Teef (6:28) (Sonny Red)

  2. Breezing (6:06) (Sonny Red)

  3. A Handful of Stars (4:42) (Lawrence-Shapiro) (*)

  4. If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You (2:50) (Deitz-Shwartz) (*)

About This NEW Jazzland Recording –

   The fluently swinging and extremely lyrical alto sax sound featured here belongs to an unpretentious young man whose personality is clearly reflected in his work. Unlike many of his contemporaries, the young musician who calls himself ‘SONNY RED’ does not think he is going to revolutionize jazz. “Music,” he feels, “should be rhythmic and melodic, and I just try to do something that comes natural.” His almost shockingly uncomplex viewpoint has produced, in this particular case, a consistently happy, relaxed, heavily blues-flavored and highly enjoyable set of results – a most impressive argument in favor of Sonny’s unstuffy and uncluttered approach to jazz.

   Born Junior Sylvester Kyner in Detroit on December 17, 1932, Sonny Redd started doing what “comes natural” in high school, where he first took up the study of music and the C-melody saxophone. Pianist Barry Harris, a key member of the supporting cast here, was a high school friend and offered Sonny his first jazz job. Red first switched to alto when he joined Barry’s group in 1949, took up tenor for a few months while with trombonist Frank Rossolino in ’54, but returned permanently to alto when he joined Art Blakey in the Fall of that year. In 1955 serious lung trouble almost put an end to his career, but after having been hospitalized for a hear and a half, he became active again in April, 1957, playing with Blakey and Miles Davis and then doing a series of local concerts with Detroiters Harris, Elvin Jones, and Yusef Lateef (another longtime friend, whose rich tenor-sax tones contribute greatly to the sextet numbers of this album).

   Sonny’s first migration to New York came late in ’57, but except for a few record dates as a sideman there was little work (in his own words: “I wasn’t ready yet at all”). In August of the following year he returned t Detroit, and spent the next hear working there and in a variety of Midwestern and Canadian locations. Now he has returned to New York with a strong determination to make the move a permanent and successful one. The evidence at hand seems to indicate that he certainly is ready now.

   Sonny Red’s first Jazzland album is clearly stamped with his mark. In addition to contributing five of the tunes (the other three are seldom-heard standards chosen by him), he hand-picked the very good company in which he plays. Beside home-town friends Harris and Lateef, there is one of today’s most highly-regarded younger trumpet stars, Blue Mitchell to lend a strong hand on the sextet selections (“I just seem to play better with Blue,” Sonny notes). The rhythm support includes Bob Cranshaw (the impressive bassist of Chicago’s “M.J.T. Plus Three quintet), and Albert Heath, currently the anchor-man of the Art Farmer-Benny Golson “Jazztet.”

Recent JAZZLAND releases include:

  The Resurgence of Dexter Gordon – JLP 29 & Stereo 929S

  Tough Tenors – Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis Quintet – JLP 31 & Stereo 931S

 Wes t Coast Blues – Harold Land, with Wes Montgomery – JLP 20 & Stereo 920S

West Coast Blues – Harold Land, with Wes Montgomery – JLP 20 & Stereo 920S



Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF

Back-liner photos by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios

Recording Engineer: RAY FOWLER

Mastered by JACK MATTHEWS (Components Corp.) on a HYDROFEED lathe


235 West 46th Street, New York 36, New York

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