Red Holloway: St. Thomas


St. Thomas


Red Holloway (tenor and alto sax)


Go Red Go! (Delmark DE-585)

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Red Holloway (tenor and alto sax), Chris Foreman (Hammond B3 organ), Henry Johnson (guitar), George Freeman (guitar), Greg Rockingham (drums).

Composed by Sonny Rollins


Recorded: Riverside Studio, Chicago, July 16-18, 2008


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

My two favorite versions of “St. Thomas” are on Saxophone Colossus (the reference standard) and on the fine Jim Hall/Ron Carter record Alone Together. The approaches are completely different, with Rollins' stately blowing on the one hand and Hall's quiet tiptoe on the other.

I may have to expand my list to three, as Red Holloway presents an insistent and playful take on the classic. The leader comes blasting right off the line, setting the tone with the sax and organ workin' it in unison. At each solo turn, the energy from the previous chorus is passed along and taken up a notch. Before we return the head, we've had sax, guitar, organ, and drum workouts that are constructed from barely contained pure joy. Played in a club, it wouldn't be hard to imagine the thunderous shouts and applause. Take a bow, fellas.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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