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Red Holloway: Coast to Coast

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This is the classic two-tenor “battle” accompanied by organ, guitar and drums. The sometimes-raucous Holloway and the smoother, ex-Basieite Frank Wess share the joie-de-vivre of saxophony while Dr. Lonnie Smith (organ), Melvin Sparks (guitar) and Paul Humphrey (drums) coax them on. It’s a good session, full of blues-rooted declarations and infectious rhythms and soulful expression. Everyone’s a winner.

The fast tempo of “Avalon” proves the tenormen’s agility and bop chops. Holloway’s “Still Groovin'” is a shuffle that could pack the dance floor all night long. “Indian Summer,” with Holloway switching to alto, slows the beat down to ballad tempo for some fine melodic interplay by the horns. Holloway sings Helen Humes’ “Million Dollar Secret,” a tune perfectly consistent with the bluesy, party atmosphere of this set.

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