Red Holloway

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Red Holloway
Red Holloway photo.jpg
Background information
Birth name James W. Holloway
Born (1927-05-31)May 31, 1927
Helena, Arkansas, USA
Died February 25, 2012(2012-02-25) (aged 84)
Morro Bay, California
Genres Jazz, bebop, hard bop
Occupation(s) Saxophonist
Instruments Tenor saxophone, alto saxophone

James Wesley "Red" Holloway (May 31, 1927 – February 25, 2012)[1] was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.


Born in Helena, Arkansas,[2] Holloway started playing banjo and harmonica, switching to tenor saxophone when he was 12 years old. He graduated from DuSable High School,[3] where he had played in the school big band with Johnny Griffin and Eugene Wright, and attended the Conservatory of Music, Chicago. He joined the Army when he was 19 and became bandmaster for the U.S. Fifth Army Band, and after completing his military service returned to Chicago and played with Yusef Lateef and Dexter Gordon, among others. In 1948 he joined blues vocalist Roosevelt Sykes and later played with other blues musicians such as Willie Dixon, Junior Parker, Lloyd Price, and John Mayall.

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 Vinson, Wardell Gray, Sonny Rollins, Red Rodney, Lester Young, Joe Williams, Redd Foxx, B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Aretha Franklin. During this period, he also toured with Sonny Stitt, Memphis Slim and Lionel Hampton. He became a member of the house band for Chance Records in 1952. He subsequently appeared on many recording sessions for the Chicago-based independents Parrot, United and States, and Vee-Jay.[4]

From 1963 to 1966, he was in organist "Brother" Jack McDuff's band, which also featured a young guitarist, George Benson. In 1974, Holloway recorded The Latest Edition with John Mayall and toured Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. From 1977 to 1982, Holloway worked with Sonny Stitt, recording two albums together, and following Stitt's death, Holloway played and recorded with Clark Terry.

Red Holloway died in Morro Bay, California,[2] aged 84 of a stroke and kidney failure[5] on February 25, 2012, one month after Etta James, with whom he had worked extensively.[6]


As leader[edit]

  • The Burner (Prestige, 1963)
  • Cookin' Together (Prestige, 1964) with the Brother Jack McDuff Quartet
  • Sax, Strings & Soul (Prestige, 1964)
  • Red Soul (Prestige, 1965)
  • Forecast: Sonny & Red (Catalyst, 1976) with Sonny Stitt
  • Hittin' the Road Again (JAM, 1982)
  • Nica's Dream (Steeplechase, 1984)
  • Red Holloway & Company (Concord, 1987)
  • Locksmith Blues (Concord, 1989)
  • Daydream with T.C. Pfeiler (Tonewheel, 1997)
  • In the Red (High Note, 1997)
  • Live At the 1995 Floating Jazz Festival (Chiaroscuro, 1997)
  • Standing Room Only (Chiaroscuro, 1998)
  • A Night of Blues and Ballads (JHM, 1999)
  • Coast to Coast (Milestone, 2003)
  • Something Old, Something new (RH, 2007)
  • Go Red Go! (Delmark, 2008)
  • Meets the Bernhard Pichi Trio (Organic Music, 2009)

As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With Wade Marcus

With Horace Silver

With George Benson

With John Mayall

With Etta James

With Jack McDuff

With Carmen McRae

With Knut Riisnæs

With Atle Hammer

With Freddy Cole

With Clark Terry

  • Squeeze Me (Chiaroscuro, 1989)
  • Top and Bottom (Chiaroscuro, 1995)

With Junior Mance

  • Junior Mance & Floating Jazz Festival Trio (Live) (Chiaroscuro, 1999)


  1. ^ Peter Vacher, "Red Holloway obituary", The Guardian, February 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Daniel E. Slotnik, "Red Holloway, Swinger of the Sax, Dies at 84", The New York Times, February 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "Red Holloway" (obituary), The Telegraph, February 28, 2012.
  4. ^ The Al Smith Discography Part I. Accessed August 24, 2009
  5. ^ Scott Yanow, Artist Biography, Allmusic.
  6. ^ Jeff Tamarkin, "Saxophonist Red Holloway Dead at 84", Jazz Times, February 25, 2012.

External Links[edit]