Vibraphonist and drummer Chuck Redd pays tribute to a close friend and one of his musical fathers, the late legendary jazz guitarist Barney Kessel, on this recording featuring five Kessel compositions and other favorite standards recorded by the guitarist. A much in-demand drummer featured on fifty recordings throughout his career, Redd plays the drums on only two of these twelve tracks, really demonstrating the depth of his talents on the vibes. A few other veteran musicians lend a touch of class to this album, including master pianist Monty Alexander, drummer Jeff Hamilton (co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra), bassist Hassan Shakur, guitarists Howard Alden and Gene Bertoncini, and Chuck's brother Robert, also on piano.
The opening title track, the only original penned by Redd, is a tribute to Kessel's always positive attitude. Redd burns up this appropriately lively and upbeat chart with an immediate musical statement. Also included are classics and standards like the famous Mercer/Raskin score "Laura," which Kessel recorded five times. Redd weaves some magic on vibes, dancing around a fine Alexander run on a head-bopping interpretation that contrasts with the tune's original arrangement. Kessel played on Julie London's hit recording of "Cry Me A River," and on this take Redd features pianist Alexander and steps back in an excellent supporting role.
Robert Redd keys in with "On A Slow Boat to China" and matches the leader's performance, giving way to Alden, who provides sharp chords on this quick-moving cut. A truly sweet "Tenderly," which stands out above the rest, is played with emotion by Alexander. Redd's soft touch on the vibes and Hamilton's soothing brushes combine to produce a memorable sound.
Redd gives an engaging performance on the tempo-changing "You're the One For Me," a Kessel piece that Bertoncini interprets on the nylon string guitar, capturing the Kessel feel. In like manner, guitarist Alden plays slow and softly on the Gershwin standard "Love Is Here To Stay," in which Redd's vibes open up in a twist.
These tracks may not tell the whole story, but they do offer a taste of the warm and gentle music that flows on this album. Happy All The Time pays homage to a legend of jazz with a display of sheer talent and raw energy by one of the premier vibraphonists in the business.
Chuck Redd is a seasoned performer on both drums and vibraphone. He is currently the Artist-In-Residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Café in Washington, DC. Chuck began performing internationally when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio in 1980 at the age of 21. That year, he joined the Great Guitars (Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd and Herb Ellis.) To his credit are thirteen extensive European tours and five tours of Japan, with the Barney Kessel Trio, Ken Peplowski, Terry Gibbs and Conte Candoli.
Redd's career as a featured artist has earned critical acclaim:
Chuck was featured vibraphonist with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet from 1991 until 1996. While on tour with Torme, Ira Gitler of Jazz Times said: "Redd's vibes were equally notable for vigor and melodiousness."
Jazz Times also praised Redd's playing calling his vibes work, "Exquisite! "
In June of 2007 Chuck was featured with the prestigious "Milt Jackson Tribute Band". Other recent engagements include a jazz cruise in the Mediterranean, a stint with Bucky Pizzarelli and Ken Peplowski at Dizzy's Club (Jazz at Lincoln Center) and headlining with his own trio at The River Room of Harlem. He has toured and performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, Tommy Flanagan, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Laurindo Almeida, Tal Farlow, Red Norvo, Scott Hamilton, and Mickey Roker and Frank Vignola.
Redd is featured on over 65 recordings. Recent releases include his Arbors CD, "All This and Heaven Too", featuring Gene Bertoncini and George Mraz, and "The Swing Kings", an all-star session featuring Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Ray Kennedy and Ken Peplowski. He can also be heard on the sound track to the popular PBS television series, "The Great Chefs, and the NPR broadcast "Jazz Smithsonian."
Other performances by Chuck include a concert with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Africa for the Namibian Independence Day Celebration, a recital at the White House with the Barney Kessel Trio, concerts at Carnegie Hall with Mel Torme's Quintet, and The Tonight Show. In January 08, he was featured in the finale concert at The Lionel Hampton International Jazz festival with The Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
In addition to leading his own group Chuck is a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He frequently performs in New York City and headlines at festivals and clubs around the country. Chuck is on the faculty at The University of Maryland School of Music and presents master classes, workshops and lectures around the country.
Chuck's January 08 Noteworthy Jazz release is "When Redd is Blue" a collaboration with his brother Robert, featuring saxophonist Harry Allen. Chuck's recent Arbors CD "Happy All The Time," is a critically acclaimed tribute to his mentor, Barney Kessel. The CD features Monty Alexander, Jeff Hamilton, Howard Alden, Gene Bertoncini, Robert Redd and JJ Shakur.