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Duke Ellington Orchestra - Take the A Train

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Tribute to Bird

Red Rodney

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September 27, 1927 - May 27, 1994


Red Rodney performs with saxophonist Frank Morgan in Cannes, France at the 1989 Palais des Festivals; also featuring special guests Jon Hendricks and Phil Woods.


Red Rodney, trumpet
Frank Morgan, alto sax
Monty Alexander, piano
Rufus Reid, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

Robert Roland Chudnick, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1927 began playing trumpet professionally as a teenager during the early 1940s.

He started working under the stage name Red Rodney taking a chair in the big bands of Jerry Wald, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Les Brown, and Elliott Lawrence.

After stints with Claude Thornhill, Gene Krupa, and Woody Herman, Rodney joined Charlie Parker's quintet in 1949 and was called "Albino Red" as the group's only white member to avoid racial incident while touring the segregated South.

Rodney joined the band of tenor saxophonist Charlie Ventura in 1950, a musician with whom he had become acquainted during his time with Gene Krupa.

In 1958 He left music and would spend years battling drug addition, legal problem, and severe dental issues from injuries suffered at the hands of the police.

Following the tragic death of his wife and daughter in 1963 and years of struggle, a drug-free Red Rodney made a gradual comeback in the 1970s, and would later record a string of five exceptional albums with Ira Sullivan between 1980 and 1982.

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