Under the watchful eye of famed producer Michael Cuscuna, this nine-CD set serves as a compilation of Stitt's 1950s and 1960s Roost LPs. This release also features a 28-page booklet consisting of comprehensively annotated liners. Moreover, the record label does its best to convey the artistic element via a series of black-and-white photos of Stitt and his sidemen amid anecdotes by many of the late saxophonist's affiliates. Interestingly enough, seven of the original LPs did not list personnel. In some instances, guesses were made, although most of these tracks are well-documented, thanks to the producer's diligence and painstaking research. Artists such as drummer Roy Haynes, bassist/composer Charles Mingus, and pianist Harold Maber represent but a few of Stitt's accompanists.
Sadik Hakim (whose original name was Argonne Thornton) played with a few notable names from the bop era (including Charlie Parker) but has long been a somewhat obscure pianist. His "meeting" with Sonny Stitt (who splits his time here evenly between alto and tenor) was about as high profile as he ever got. With bassist Buster Williams and drummer J.R. Mitchell completing the quartet, Stitt is in his usual fine form on five veteran standards, a pair of blues-based originals and Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." The music is not essential but has its heated moments; recommended for bop fans.
Sonny Stitt (2006 Japanese exclusive limited edition 17-track 'K2 High Definition Coding' CD album, originally released in 1956, also featuring Bud Powell & J.J. Johnson with THREE BONUS TRACKS, presented in mini LP-style cardsleeve reproducing the original album artwork with 'Jazz' obi-strip.) Three classic Sonny Stitt sessions from 1949-50 are heard here in full. Stitt, who had been out of action due to his "personal problems," not only made a full-fledged comeback on these dates but debuted on (and stuck exclusively to) tenor rather than playing alto, where he was being assailed as a Charlie Parker imitator.
SUPERB is right! I have rarely, if ever, heard Sonny Stitt sound like this. Everybody knows about his instrumental prowess, so let's talk about his sound for a moment. On this particular album, Stitt's sound is so rich, so full, so visceral, it sounds as if he's gonna pop right out of the speakers and play in your living room right next to you. I have NEVER heard Sonny play with such a full, enveloping tone as he does here. At first, I thought he might have quit smoking or something, but there he is with holding a cigarette on the cover. But he must have done something to obtain the lavish, sumptuous timbre he plays with on With the New Yorkers.
Arguably never quite in the top league alongside the likes of Charlie Parker (his great influence), Lester Young, Benny Carter, Ben Webster and John Coltrane, nevertheless the great alto saxophonist Sonny Stitt is a welcome addition to our “classic album” series. Across four wonderfully diverse albums we find Sonny amongst four jazz quartets all discovering something new about each other along their musical journey. “Saxophone Supremacy” finds Sonny alongside Lou Levy on piano, Leroy Vinegar on bass and Mel Lewis on drums. For “Personal Appearance” he is joined by Bobby Timmins on piano, Edgar Willis on bass and Kenny Dennis on drums. “The Battle Of Birdland” recorded one Sunday night at New York’s famed Birdland club, Sonny teams up with fellow sax titan Eddie Davis for a supercharged blowing session alongside Doc Bagby and Charlie Rice…
In 1977 Art came back from the dead. Or so it seemed to those who followed him, followed his music. And then in 1979, the Japanese came calling in the guise of a small record label, Yupiteru, later Atlas. They wanted Art to record for them. By then, Art was under exclusive contract to Fantasy/Galaxy records and couldn’t record as a leader. However, and I think I deserve credit for this sneaky idea, he could be a “sideman.” And he could choose the “leaders.” He did six albums for Atlas with six terrific “leaders.” And they are classics, now.
A record with a simple, elegant title – and a similar cover image too – but if you know Sonny Stitt, you know there's often plenty beneath the surface, and this classic Chess Records has plenty to offer, once you start listening! The album's right up there with Sonny's work for Roost – in terms of straight, strong, confident blowing – remarkably subtle, but also remarkably well-conceived, and proof that by the end of the 50s, Stitt had really matured greatly as a player – bringing so much to bear in very short space, and really coming up with imaginative solos in the process! The group's a quartet with Barry Harris on piano – but Stitt's the main focus on this set, and for good reason.
This LP features altoist Sonny Stitt accompanied by a nonet playing arrangements by either Tadd Dameron or Jimmy Mundy. The charts give this Stitt album more variety than usual, and the superior material (which includes "On a Misty Night," "Poinciana" and Stitt's "Hey Pam") challenges the saxophonist to play at his best; trumpeter Blue Mitchell also has a couple of spots.
Sonny Stitt goes Latin – and the results are tremendous! The set's still got all the soulful feel of the best Stitt sessions for Roost, but it brings in some nice Latin rhythms too – inflecting things with that blend of soul jazz and congas you might find over at Prestige or Blue Note, yet also taking things further, too – given the Roost/Roulette connection to the New York Latin scene! Sonny plays both alto and tenor, and gets jazzy accompaniment from Thad Jones on trumpet – but the rhythm section is the real charmer here – and features a young Chick Corea on piano, Larry Gales on bass, and the trio of Willie Bobo, Patato Valdes, and Chihuaua Martinez on percussion! Most tunes are originals – a great change from the usual Latinized standards you might find on a set like this – and Stitt's got this nicely exotic tone in his reeds which is a further highlight of the record – almost a Yusef Lateef inflection at points.
Sonny Stitt forged his own approach to playing bebop out of the sound and style of Charlie Parker, so this tribute album was a very logical project. With fine support from guitarist Jim Hall, pianist John Lewis, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Connie Kay, Stitt performs ten Parker compositions, plus Jay McShann's "Hootie Blues"; these renditions of "Now's the Time" and "Yardbird Suite" were previously unreleased. Stitt, who mastered bebop and could play hot licks in his sleep, is in top form on such numbers as "Constellation," "Confirmation," and "Ko-Ko," making this an essential item for straight-ahead jazz fans (although the prolific altoist would record eight other albums in 1963 alone).