In an era of jazz child prodigies, Red Rodney matched Stan Getz for precociousness. At 15, two years after he first picked up a trumpet, Rodney was on the road with Jerry Wald. In quick succession, he played in the bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Elliot Lawrence, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Oscar Pettiford, Claude Thornhill, Woody Herman, Tony Pastor, Les Brown, and Georgie Auld. After hearing Dizzy Gillespie, he switched his conception to bebop and at 20 reached the bop pinnacle as the trumpeter in Charlie Parker’s quintet. In 1957 Rodney dropped out of jazz and into a variety of musical and extramusical activities. He plunged back into jazz in 1972, at first in Europe, then back in the U. S. in 1979. Until his death in 1994, Rodney played with his all of his old fire and, in ballads, deep lyricism. These recordings, long unavailable, capture him in the 1950s at the peak of his youthful skill, enthusiasm, and expressiveness.
with Phil Brown, Jimmy Ford, Roy Haynes, Phil Leshin, Phil Raphael, Norman Simons, Victor Sproles, Ira Sullivan