Saxophonist Red Holloway Dies at 84
Saxophonist Red Holloway died on Feb. 25 at Bayside Care Center in Morro Bay, Calif. The cause was kidney failure and complications from several strokes. He was 84.
Holloway, a tenor saxophonist who also played alto, had an extensive discography, recording with George Benson, Carmen McRae, “Brother” Jack McDuff, Horace Silver, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sonny Stitt, Clark Terry, Cedar Walton, Frank Wess and Joe Williams.
Some of Holloway’s albums as a leader were Go Red Go! (2009), Coast To Coast (2003) and Standing Room Only (1998).
James W. Holloway was born in Helena, Ark., on May 31, 1927. At age 5, his family moved to Chicago. He began taking music lessons, played various instruments, and eventually took up tenor saxophone at the age of 12. He attended Chicago’s DuSable High School, where one of his classmates was saxophonist Johnny Griffin.
By age 16, Holloway had a professional gig in the Dukes of Swing, a big band led by Eugene Wright (who would later become a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet).
Holloway enlisted in the Army at age 19, and during his service, he was the headmaster of the U.S. Fifth Army Band.
Following his military service, Holloway moved back to Chicago, where he performed with numerous blues performers, including Bobby “Blue” Bland, Willie Dixon, B.B. King, Roosevelt Sykes and Muddy Waters.
Holloway moved to Los Angeles in 1967 and spent the rest of his career in California. He was a member of the house band at the Parisian Room and booked the talent there for 15 years. In 2004, Holloway received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society.
According to the saxophonist’s official website, a funeral service and celebration of his life were held in Los Angeles on March 4.