Alto saxophonist Sylvester Kyner, Jr. (1932-1981), better known as Sonny Red, was among the bumper crop of Detroit jazz musicians who, between 1955 and 1960, inevitably gravitated to New York. This set combines the second and third (of three) LPs Red made for Jazzland, The Mode and Images, from 1961 and ’62, respectively. He’s joined at various times by a pair of colorfully-named--and superb--featured sidemen, trumpeter Richard "Blue" Mitchell (1930-1979) and guitarist Grant Green (1935-1979). With Cedar Walton or fellow Detroiter Barry Harris on piano and the imperturbably swinging Jimmy Cobb, then with Miles Davis, as one of the drummers, Red et al. blow the blues (both hard bop and modishly modal) and some choice standards (both older and, at the time, up-to-date). In essence, Red’s quartet and quintet summarize the sound of modern jazz in the early 1960s, a sound that endures to this day.
with Jimmy Cobb, Grant Green, Barry Harris, Lex Humphries, Blue Mitchell, George Tucker, Cedar Walton