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Sunday, 06 May 2018 03:41

Killer Liner Notes - Old School

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We recently acquired a brilliant British Spotlight release from 1975 - "Red Rodney with the Bebop Preservation Society".  The liner notes by Brian Davis are jammed with that stuff that we don't see very often in this century: real information. Here's a big excerpt:

"1974 brought two important visitors to these shores - Al Haig and Red Rodney. Although Al's European trip unfortunately did not include any English dates the reverse was the case with Red Rodney and enthusiasts had ample opportunity to catch Red gigging in and around the London area. Both artists were naturally recorded by Spotlite, Al in a trio setting (see SPJ AH4 "lnvitation" - his first record since the obscure Mint album recorded in 1965) and Red in the company of the musicians present on the enclosed record. Red was the subject in one of Mark Gardner's most revealing interviews in the April 1970 issue of the late Jazz Monthly. Red spoke frankly of his trials and tribulations and during the correspondence involved Mark and Red struck up a strong mutual friendship. Naturally when there was a two-day break in the European schedule of the package tour inappropriately named “A Tribute to Charlie Parker“ Red whipped across to London for a couple of days and immediately got in touch with Mark. l was fortunate enough to spend a memorable social evening with Red, who is surely the youngest looking 48 in the business, incredibly fit, friendly, obviously appreciative of the interest shown in him, but best of all, still raring to playl A week later (14th November '74) he was back and the grapevine said he would be sitting in at the “Seven Dials" named after a nearby seven-piece road junction in the heart of London's West End. Situated at 27 Shelton Street a narrow warehouse type thoroughfare immediately behind the real Covent Garden the club offers jazz of all persuasions and is one of a number of clubs run by the highly successful London Jazz Centre Society.  Sure enough Red sat in with, appropriately, the Bebop Preservation Society, much to the delight and admiration of all. ln the audience was Tony Williams who just knew that this meeting of kindredspirits had to be recorded — and so we come full circle. Now for a few facts about Red and the personnel of the BPS...