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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Rock 'N Roll - Red Prysock


Blow Your Horn

Rock 'N Roll
Red Prysock
Mercury Records MG 20088

From the back cover: Red Prysock first attracted national attention with his tenor sax while a member of the Tiny Bradshaw orchestra. His excellent solo expression on the recording Soft made him an overnight success so-to-speak... and made the record a smash hit. Shortly after his debut to big time, Red set out to form his own group. This, by the way, was just two short years ago in 1953.

The twenty-eight year old taxman actually is a latecomer to music but an innate creative spark and a feel for the beat have enabled him to surpass many a man whose formal training and background far exceeds Red's rather brief but highly successful go at jazz. Red Prysock, to quote many of his fellow blowers, is a natural.

Wilbert Red Prysock (whose brother is the famed singer, Arthur) was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. Not until he was in the Army of Occupation in Germany after the close of World War II did he take up the tenor sax seriously. Within a few short months spent with patience and diligence he was sufficiently accomplished with his instrument to join up with an outfit of GI music makers and the die was cast.

On his separation from the service, Red moved to New York City and found berths in the reed sections of Cootie Williams' band, Tiny Grimes Rocking Highlanders, and Tiny Bradshaw's organization. Leaving the sideman's chair for the leader's spot, he has definitely come into his own as a name to  be reckoned with in today's music world. He and his group have performed successfully at the leading theaters and "one-night spots" and recently brought their hand clapping brand of jazz to the Philadelphia Academy of Music.

The tunes Little Jamie, Zonked, Zip and Rock 'N Roll were recorded in January, 1955 in New York. Along with Red's tenor sax are Clarence Wright, Joe Oliver Blair, Roland Johnson, Hal Johnson, Herb Gordy and Purnell Rice.

On Jump, Red, Jump, Happy Feet and Blow Your Horn, all recorded earlier – in March, 1954 – Red was assisted by James Neeley, Joe Jordan, Donald Cole, Roland Johnson, James Neeley, Clarence Wright, Herb Gordy and Cornelius Thomas.

Later that year – in September 1954 – Prysock waxed Fat's Place with Frank Gailbreath and J.A. Sparrow replacing Jordan and Neeley.

The remaining four sides – That's The Groovy Thing, Alright, Okay, You Win, Jumbo and Handclappin' were cut in July 1955. Earl Wright, Joe Oliver, Dick Mitchell, Raymond Kitz, Purnell Rice and Herb Gordy supported Prysock at this session.

Jump, Red, Jump
Happy Feet
Blow Your Horn
Little Jamie
Rock 'N Roll
Fat's Place
Alright, Okay, You Win
That's The Groovy Thing
Hand Clappin'

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