Freddie Redd is a name that every jazz collector should know. During 1957-60, he recorded three memorable albums: San Francisco Suite (a trio date for Riverside), The Connection (his score for the famous play) and Shades Of Redd. While he has spent much of the time in obscurity since then, with occasional comebacks, Shades Of Redd is the obvious highpoint of the pianist-composer's recording career. Redd wrote the music specifically for the two mighty horn players featured with his quintet (altoist Jackie McLean and tenor-saxophonist Tina Brooks). While Redd's fine piano playing is an outgrowth of Bud Powell's, his writing style was always quite original and it clearly inspired the two contrasting saxophonists when they met up in 1960. Filled with the optimism of the era and looking forward to freer sounds but staying closely connected to swinging hard bop, this formerly rare gem hints at John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman while sounding very much like Freddie Redd. No jazz collection is complete without Shades Of Redd.