Freddie Redd: O.D.
The Freddie Redd Quartet (with Jackie McLean)
The Music from The Connection (Blue Note 84027)
Michael Mattos (bass), Larry Ritchie (drums).
Composed by Freddie Redd.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 15, 1960
Rating: 84/100 (learn more)
The New York Times called Jack Gelber's off-Broadway play The Connection (1959) "a farrago of dirt, empty talk and extended runs of cool music." Dirt and empty talk aptly described a stage full of scruffy addicts awaiting their heroin dealer. The Times was wrong, though, about "cool music." Freddie Redd's score (no pun intended) was hard-core hard bop performed by onstage jazzmen. Sadly, Jackie McLean, his understudy Tina Brooks, and Dexter Gordon in the L.A. production were true-life junkies cast to type. Having once accompanied fictitious felons, crime jazz now supported real ones. If this be progress, progress be damned.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz