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JAZZ REVIEW : Holloway's Winning Gentle Style

April 05, 1993|LEONARD FEATHER

Red Holloway, a saxophonist with longtime Southland credentials, headlined an invigorating quartet session Friday at the Jazz Bakery.

Though capable of generating considerable excitement with his hard-driving mainstream style, chiefly on tenor saxophone, Holloway seemed equally at ease bopping away on an upbeat blues or switching to alto for a gently expressive ballad.

He was in good company, with the formidable bass sound of Rufus Reid, whose every solo tells a distinct and melodically imaginative story. On drums was Sherman Ferguson, always a dependable section mate, though his solo on "Well You Needn't" far outlasted its welcome.

With Dwight Dickerson at the piano, Holloway took it slow and easy on "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," then shifted moods engagingly for a humorous old-timey vocal on "Locksmith Blues," which sounded as though it could have been written for Bessie Smith. The diversity of Holloway's set clearly reflected the breadth and depth of his experience.

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