Morning Song – Now’s The Time
Sure, Vi Redd could sing. But what she really could do was play alto sax as well as just about anyone in the jazz world, performing regularly throughout the 1950s and 60s with the likes of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines and Max Roach.
Even though she was a headliner at jazz festivals, Redd rarely got a chance to go into the studio (recording costs were higher in those days, and the men who ran the business didn’t know what to do with a “girl” who could run the changes and bop as hard as any man playing alto in the wake of Charlie Parker).
Her cover of Charlie Parker’s “Now’s The Time” comes from her first (and favorite) album, Bird Call, and if you want to hear the introductory verse she sings—before kicking into a strong, self-assured, swinging solo—as one of the first stirrings of second-wave feminism…well, nobody here’s going to stop you:
So they can do the waiting, ‘cuz I ain’t hesitating;
The future’s ’round the corner so for now I’m gonna play;
Now’s the time to wail, not later but right now’s the time!