18 JUNE 1994, Page 27

White notes

Sir: How ridiculous of CSH in his Portrait of the Week (11 June) to write that the trumpeter Red Rodney was unusual in the jazz profession in being white.

Not only have there been and are many distinguished white jazz musicians, white jazz trumpeters include such notable artists as Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan and Harry James.


It was black Charlie Parker, Red Rod- ney's friend and associate, who warned black Miles Davis of Chet Baker: 'There's a little white cat in Hollywood who can eat you up.'

Rodney's whiteness as a partner of Park- er was occasionally embarrassing to the master saxophonist. Parker tried passing him as black when they played together by having him billed as 'Albino Red'.

Hugh Witt

27 Epsom Close, Barnehurst, Kent