Feb 27, 2012
Red Holloway, a tenor and alto
saxophonist who was one of Los Angeles' most highly regarded jazz
artists for more than four decades, died Saturday February 25th in
San Luis Obispo due to kidney failure, complicated by several
strokes, He was 84.
Holloway's career reached from the post-WWII arrival of bebop to 21st century jazz fusion. Whatever genre he played, the powerful muscularity of his sound, combined with his propulsive sense of swing, consistently made him one of the most listenable tenor saxophonists in jazz.
A product of the Chicago music scene, he graduated from DuSable High School, where he had played in the school big band with Johnny Griffin and Eugene Wright, and later attended the Conservatory of Music. He joined local players like Dexter Gordon and Yusef Lateef in the scene, taking his talents from jazz to blues and soul.
In the 1950s he played in the Chicago area
with Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Ben Webster, Jimmy
Rushing, Arthur Prysock, Dakota Staton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson,
Wardell Gray, Sonny Rollins, Red Rodney, Lester Young, Joe
Williams, Redd Foxx, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Aretha
Franklin. During this period, he also toured with Sonny Stitt,
Memphis Slim and Lionel Hampton. He and George Benson were the
mainstays of Brother Jack McDuff’s band from 1963 to 1966.
to Los Angeles
in 1967, where he
played in the house band at the famed jazz club the Persian Room.
He retained the position for 15 years, meeting and often performing
with some of the biggest names in the jazz world. He received a
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society in