Sonny Red - Out of the Blue: Tone Poet Series
The Detroit born alto saxophonist Sonny Red made only one album as a leader for Blue Note, but Out of the Blue remains a gem of the catalog deserving of much wider recognition. Red's lightly swinging style shines on this 8-song set of bluesy originals and obscure standards, which was drawn from two different quartet sessions. The first session – recorded in December 1959 with Wynton Kelly on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Roy Brooks on drums – yielded six of the album's final cuts including the buoyant opener "Bluesville" and the stunning ballad "Stay As Sweet As You Are." Red returned to the studio in January 1960 once again with Kelly on piano, but this time joined by Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums, a trio that was also Miles Davis' rhythm section at the time having just recorded on Kind of Blue the year before. The album's final two tracks feature this quartet on Red's original "The Lope" and the ballad "Stairway to the Stars."