Red Holloway dies at 84; versatile L.A. jazz saxophonist

From Los Angeles Times:

Red Holloway’s career stretched from the bebop era to 21st-century jazz fusion. He played with an array of A-list stars, including Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Red Rodney and Lionel Hampton.

Eric Schneider, left, and Red Holloway perform with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra during a tribute to legendary South Side saxophonist Eddie Johnson at the University of Chicago in 2010. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / April 25, 2010)

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 in San Luis Obispo. He was 84.

The cause was kidney failure, complicated by several strokes, according to family spokeswoman Linda Knipe.

Holloway’s career reached from the post-World War II 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.

His creative focus was enhanced by far-reaching versatility. “Music to me is music,” he told Jazz Journal International some years ago. “I really don’t care what kind it is. I just try and figure out how I can make that particular type of music swing. That’s what is important.”

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