Freddie Redd (born May 29, 1928, in New York City) is an American hard-bop pianist and composer.[1
Redd grew up in New York City; after losing his father at the age of one, he was raised by his mother who moved around Harlem, Brooklyn and other neighborhoods. An autodidact, he began playing the piano at a young age and took to studying jazz seriously upon hearing Charlie Parker during his military service in the mid-1940's. Upon discharge from the Army in 1949, he worked with drummer Johnny Mills, and then in New York played with Tiny Grimes, Cootie Williams, Oscar Pettiford and the Jive Bombers. Redd toured Sweden in 1956 with Ernestine Anderson and Rolf Ericson. His greatest success came in the late 1950s when he was invited to compose the score for the stage performance and subsequent film The Connection, in which he performed as an actor and musician. The performance enjoyed a modest success and the troupe toured the United States and Europe performing in New York City, London, and Paris. Redd also played on theBlue Note recorded soundtrack album which featured Jackie McLean on alto sax. His success in the theater production, though, did not advance his career in the United States, and shortly afterwards he moved to Europe spending time in Denmark and France.
He returned to the United States in 1974 and resettled on the West Coast; he became a regular on the San Francisco scene and recorded intermittently up until 1990.
He has always struggled to establish himself commercially, but has played with highly regarded artists such as Jackie McLean, Tina Brooks, Paul Chambers, Howard McGhee, Milt Hinton, Lou Donaldson, Benny Bailey, Louis Hayes, Al McKibbon, Billy Higgins and many more. Redd recorded several albums as leader, including three prominent Blue Note albums. He is still active and as such is one of the last of the pioneers of the hardbop golden age still on the scene.