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Red Holloway Is Coast to Coast

Red Holloway has got the blues. Ha ha! That’s a good one. A real good one. *sigh* Ol’ Red also has a bluesy new CD, Coast to Coast, for Milestone, which follows 2001’s exuberantly titled Keep That Groove Going! (Sure thing, Red!).

On that last CD Holloway sparred with fellow tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson. For Coast to Coast Frank Wess steps up into the ring for a clash of tenor titans. The two have known each other for 40 years, ever since Holloway moved from Chicago to New York City to play in Lloyd Price’s big band. Wess played with Count Basie at that time, and the two tenorists lived in the President Hotel in the Big Apple (when they weren’t on the road, which was most of the time).

Also kickin’ it into the red with Red is Dr. Lonnie Smith, the doc of the dancing B3, and Holloway sideman from the 1965 Prestige session Red Soul. Guitarist Melvin Sparks was on Keep That Groove Going!, and Red invited him back for Coast to Coast. Drummer Paul Humphrey rounds out the band as the only full-time member of Holloway’s working group to appear on the CD. Like many soul-jazz CDs on the Fantasy-associated labels, Bob Porter produced the disc, cutting it at Rudy Van Gelder’s New Jersey studio earlier this year.

Red Holloway is known for his big tenor tone, which he developed by blowing outdoors over the sounds of nature. “If you practice with the wind blowing, you’ll get a good sound outside, so when you come inside, you can blow the walls down,” he explained in a statement. “If you practice inside, your sound is bouncing off the walls. You think you’re raising hell, but you’re not.”

If you’re in the San Pedro, California, on September 20, you can see Red Holloway and his quartet and singer Ernestine Anderson at the Warner Grand Theater. The concert is a benefit for the William Baker/Toberman Settlement House.

For more information on Holloway, check out Red’s home page at

For more information about Coast to Coast, here’s Fantasy’s snazzy promo page for the CD:

Originally Published