R.I.P. Red Holloway

Red Holloway and Norbert Schneider, March 26, 2010.
Photo: © Armin Büttner

With sadness i received the news of tenor saxophonist Red Holloway’s passing yesterday, aged 84 (details can be found here). I met Red three or four times during the last fifteen years, as he was playing in Europe every other year. In the last ten years or so he was playing with the Blue Flagships band (look here for a video clip from 2002 with Jimmy Coe and Red Holloway). I remember Red Holloway as a very sweet gentleman. I fondly think of one afternoon in the mid nineties when Red was playing in Basel or some place near Basel – I guess with the Frank Muschalle Trio. In the afternoon before the concert my friend Otto and me met Red in his hotel in St. Louis, on the other side of the swiss-french border. There we sat down with a portable cassette machine from which we played dubs of old doo wop 78 rpms from Chance Records, Parrot Records and a bunch of other small Chicago labels to Red, who patiently sorted out the numbers on which he played from the ones he did not play on – and suggesting – or even knowing – who this or that saxophonist, pianist etc. would probably be. The discographical results from our little two hour talk with Red found their way into different pages of the Red Saunders Research Foundation.

The last time I saw Red Holloway was on March 26, 2010 when the Blue Flagships band played in the former Zurich cinema Kino Razzia. I gave him a book of jazz and r’n’b ads from the old Chicago Defender that I had promised him some years earlier, and asked him to autograph two records for me. He was moved by seeing this 45 rpm:

(click to enlarge)


I scanned the autographed record with its sleeve, since I wrote down the personnel as dictated by Red that night at the Razzia on the outer plastic. The “Mc Easton” I noted is of course baritone saxophonist McKinley Easton. Unfortunately I do not recall who “Wayne” is supposed to be. Wayne Bennett possibly? Red recorded this nice piece of juke box fodder in late 1958 or early 1959 for the small Mad label and he had not seen a copy in fifty years.

On that day, I also had my video camera with me. Here you see The Blue Flagships Band feat. Red Holloway playing “Jumping At The Flagships”

The personnel: Red Holloway (ts), Duke Seidmann (ts), Tom Müller (bar), Dave Ruosch (p), Norbert Schneider (g), Dani Gugolz (b, voc), Martin Meyer (dr), and Tommie Harris (voc).


3 Responses to “R.I.P. Red Holloway”

  1. Red Holloway
    der oben erwähnte gig mit Red Holloway im Bird´s Eye Club in Basel war mit dem Matthias Bätzel Organ Trio. ich kann mich gut daran erinnern denn ich war als Schlagzeuger dabei.
    Ich habe 16 Jahre mit Red gespielt und er war ein Teil unserer Familie. Wir werden ihn sehr vermissen.

    Michael Keul

    • Vielen Dank, Herr Keul

      Ich glaube nicht, dass wir den gleichen Gig meinen. Soweit ich mich erinnern kann, habe ich Red nie mit einer Orgel-Combo gesehen. Der Bassist war auf jeden Fall Dani Gugolz aus Wien, der uns den Kontakt zu Holloway gemacht hatte. Und der Saal war definitiv grösser als das Bird’s Eye.

  2. Robert Pruter Says:

    Did not know about this aptly named Blog, until Robert Campbell alerted me to it, because of Red Holloway’s passing. I have an student paper in my files on the Crown Propeller Lounge, which was heavily taken from what I had written on the CPL. I will send it to you as an attachment via your email in the RSRF.

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