Sonny Red

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For the organized crime figure nicknamed "Sonny Red", see Al Indelicato.

Sonny Red (December 17, 1932 in Detroit as Sylvester Kyner Jr. – March 20, 1981) was an American jazz alto saxophonist associated with the hard bop idiom among other styles. He had some success in the 1960s, but had fallen into obscurity by the late 1970s.

Sonny Red played with Art Blakey, Curtis Fuller, Paul Quinichette, Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Wynton Kelly, Billy Higgins and Cedar Walton. Sonny Red made two albums as a leader in 1961, both of which were released on Jazzland Records, a subsidiary of Riverside Records, and long out of print. Fantasy Records has since combined these two LPs, "The Mode" and "Images" on one CD. Both of these albums have their melodic side as well as bopish lines that may remind those unfamiliar with Sonny Red of Jackie McLean rather than Paul Desmond, to whom Red bears no resemblance for an alto comparison. It is played in the '50's - '60's Blue Note style bop.

Album Personnel: Sonny Red-alto sax, Grant Green-guitar, Barry Haris-piano, George Tucker-bass, Jimmy Cobb-drums on 1,3,5. Cedar Walton-piano, George Tucker-bass, Jimmy Cobb-bass on 2,4,6,7. Blue Mitchell-trumpet (8-10 only), Grant Green-guitar (11-12 only), Barry Harris-piano, George Tucker-bass, Lex Humphries, Jimmy Cobb (11-13 only) - drums.[1][2]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Donald Byrd

With Curtis Fuller

With Bill Hardman

  • Bill Hardman
  • Saying Something

With Yusef Lateef

With Pony Poindexter

With Paul Quinichette

With Bobby Timmons

With Frank Wess

  • Jazz Is Busting Out All Over (1957)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Svanoe, Anders (2007). "Bluesville: The Journey of Sonny Red". Annual Review of Jazz Studies. 13 (2003). 

External links[edit]