Ira Sullivan: Blue Stroll


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Ira Sullivan, a trumpeter and saxophonist who played in Chicago in the 1950s and Miami in the 1960s and beyond, recording largely with Red Rodney and Lin Halliday, died September 21, 2020. He was 89.

Among his finest albums as a leader was Blue Stroll. Recorded for Chicago's Delmark label in July 1959, Blue Stroll featured Sullivan (tp-1,as-2,ts-3,bar-4,peck hrn-5), Johnny Griffin (as-6,ts-7,bar-8), Jodie Christian (p), Victor Sproles (b) and Wilbur Campbell (d).

The tracks are Campbell's Wilbur's Tune, My Old Flame, Christian's Blue Stroll, Griffin's 63rd Street Theme, Bluzinbee and an alternate take of Wilbur's Tune. The album is rich in its diversity of instruments and masterful hard-bop soloing by Sullivan, especially on warm-toned trumpet and assertive baritone saxophone. Griffin, who is killer throughout, also is exceptional on baritone.

Other most-owns are Red Rodney: 1957 (Signal) and Lin Halliday's East of the Sun (Delmark/1992), with superb flute playing by Sullivan on the latter. In both cases, Sullivan with trumpeter Rodney and saxophonist Halliday is jazz perfection.

JazzWax clips: Here's Wilbur's Tune...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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