By Kelly Sill
In this month’s “Zwee Dot,” Kelly Sill shares his listening notes to Garry Dial’s composition “The Bishop” from the Red Rodney Quintet’s 1989 album, No Turn on Red.
from the Red Rodney Quintet recording
No Turn on Red
1989, Savoy Records
Red Rodney – Trumpet
Dick Oatts – Tenor saxophone
Garry Dial – Piano, composer
Jay Anderson – Upright bass
Joey Baron – Drums
0:04 And the cut begins
0:06 That’s a great intro
0:08 It’s very powerful—it is actually a string of triplets in fourths
0:16 And the melody is triplets
0:21 Harmonically very cool
0:24 And going into four
0:35 Really nice line; and back into the intro
0:42 Very powerful
0:46 The rhythm section is really together
0:51 Dial is a beautiful writer
1:09 The blowing starts
1:15 Powerful opening statement by Dick Oatts!
1:22 He is so lyrical that what he’s playing could actually be another song on the same changes
1:42 Dial understands how to accompany; his rhythms fit Oatts perfectly
1:57 And the bass lines follow Oatts perfectly
1:59 The drums add only what is necessary; beautiful!
2:15 Wow—beautiful running double-time
2:24 Still running—and not stopping
2:45 And now getting down in the original feel
2:58 And clearly beginning to phase out
3:10 Red enters subtly, and turns a beautiful phrase
3:25 That’s incredibly melodic
3:31 And Jay is right beautifully on top of him
3:38 The time is beautiful
3:59 Incredible lyricism
4:12 For a stone cold bebopper, he’s playing like the most modern trumpet player
4:23 Yeah—nice space
4:35 Very comfortable
4:54 Playing some blues
5:10 Always melodies
5:15 Right in the pocket
5:43 And now back to the vamp
6:00 That’s such a great line
6:05 Man, harmonically that is so cool
6:15 And really nice interlude
6:23 This sits so nicely
6:58 Another great cut!
Charlie Parker, along with several others, basically invented bebop. Bebop was a new harmonic and rhythmic language of improvisation. Red Rodney joined Charlie Parker’s band at the age of 18, and was clearly a strong component of that invention. Red remained at the forefront of the evolution of jazz until his death in 1994.
Kelly Sill has been a mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene for more than 45 years. After receiving his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he moved to Chicago.
He has since performed and recorded with a vast array of jazz artists, including Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Eddie Jefferson, Clark Terry, Cedar Walton, Herb Ellis, Woody Shaw, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, Chris Potter, Ernie Watts, Bob Mintzer, Mel Torme, Anita O'Day, Janice Borla, Jack Mouse, Jackie McLean, Joey DeFrancesco, Donald Byrd, Bobby Watson, Eddie Harris, Scott Hamilton, Victor Lewis, Clifford Jordan, Bucky Pizzarelli, and many more.
He has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Ravinia Festival, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival, the Thessaloniki Concert Hall in Greece, and Symphony Center (Orchestra Hall) in Chicago.
Kelly has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, Interlochen Arts Academy, Northeastern Illinois University, Lake Forest College, DePaul University, and Northern Illinois University. He currently teaches at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. For questions or comments please contact him at email@example.com or visit his website at KellySill.com.