Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt|
In the Beginning
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Vintage jazz featuring two outstanding artists
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 01/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an admirer of both Jackson and Stitt, I think this is a great sample of their earliest work. It was recorded in 1948, so don't expect high fidelity. The balance on tracks 1-12 leaves something to be desired, and there's too much ambient reverb, as if the session was recorded with one microphone in the middle of the room. The bonus tracks (13-17) are much better fidelity, which makes me suspect they may not have been recorded at the same session, contrary to what's indicated on the back cover.
If the less-than-perfect fidelity doesn't bother you, you're in for a treat, because the playing is great. Stitt is showcased on tracks 1-8, and Jackson is there too, although his presence is not credited in the track listing. Stitt's short but fluid rendition of "Body and Soul" is beautifully done, and in general he puts on an impressive show each time you hear him. (Stitt is on alto for the entire album, and Charlie Parker's influence is clearly evident.) Jackson takes the lead (and Stitt takes a rest) on tracks 9-12, demonstrating the skill and style that come from making the vibes your main instrument instead of a pianist's or drummer's double, as was more typical in those days. Stitt takes back the spotlight (and Jackson is absent) on the bonus tracks, which include trumpet, trombone (a very young J.J. Johnson), and baritone sax in the ensemble. My favorite of these is Stitt's smooth and skillful interpretation of "Relaxin" with some assistance from J.J.'s trombone.
If you favor either of these artists, or the style of jazz that was emerging in the late 1940s, you'll probably be willing to overlook the recording imperfections and will derive substantial enjoyment from this CD."