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Sonny Side Up
Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt
Sonny Side Up
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1

Dizzy Gillespie's long, fruitful career is peppered with a number of high-profile summit meetings with a variety of jazz royals, and this 1957 date ranks with the best of them. Gillespie facilitated this battle between ten...  more »


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All Artists: Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt
Title: Sonny Side Up
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Release Date: 7/29/1997
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731452142627

Dizzy Gillespie's long, fruitful career is peppered with a number of high-profile summit meetings with a variety of jazz royals, and this 1957 date ranks with the best of them. Gillespie facilitated this battle between tenor titans Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins and even, according to legend, stoked their competitive fires with well-timed phone calls prior to the session. The good-natured opener "On the Sunny Side of the Street," complete with a lighthearted Dizzy vocal turn, doesn't even hint at the serious business to follow it. "The Eternal Triangle" is a quintessential bop fracas filled with inspired, white-hot improvisation. Rollins and Stitt exchange mighty blows, in solos and in trades, and Gillespie's trumpet work is no mere afterthought, bristling as it does with creativity and authority. The ensemble catches their collective breath with "After Hours," a tasty slow blues introduced by Ray Bryant's mood-setting piano, before they unleash a ripping reading of the chestnut "I Know That You Know." You get the sense that the more artful (and "jazz's new thing") Rollins was dragged into a real street fight by the fiery Stitt, who was unbeatable on his own blistering bop turf, but each man--Gillespie included--rises to the occasion in spirited fashion. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Beyond fantastic ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ahhhhhhh... the good old days... when players could play technically challenging material, yet NEVER lost their sense of swing - - To call this session swingin', boppin' and in the pocket is an understatement.

What makes it really fun to listen to is that even though Rollins and Stitt are clearly children of Bird, their sounds are different enough that you can tell who's up at the mike. (Stitt has a sharper more agressive intonation... Rollins is bit warmer - - seems to have a bit of Dexter Gordon in him (or is it just me?) - - Gillespie often stands off to the side enjoying the action, but once he's in on the game its a master in his own territory/god knows what's going to happen next type of intensity that's classic Gillespie. - - As for the album... The rhythm section is soooooooooo tasty you want to eat the notes (*tell me I'm lying !) - - Line up is Ray Bryant, Tommy Bryant and Charile Persip.

In addition to the fact that this is one of those "sit down and transcribe" type blowing sessions, what also makes it phenomenal is the variety... from the frensic bop of triangle, the 12 beat after hours blues of the aptly titles AFTER HOURS, the sprightly swinging SUNNY SIDE (which also features Dizzy on vocals) and alas the more hard boppish I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW.

All in all this is just one of those sessions which is in such a league of its own you almost want to shed a tear that few groups are really playing with this feel (not the solid high hat on the 2 and 4 - - modern day drummers don't like to do that any more but notice how toe tapping the music is... yet the Roach-like punches are still as there. - - Another fine point is that the clearly listening to and digging each other (At one point Rollins clearly flubs a tone in his solo, but it don't matter and clearly Dizzy digs it and you can hear him vocalizing sort of an encouraging Gotcha!/I dig it! that Jazz msicians of that era were prone to do.)

Conclusion: What a session - - must have study and listening ! A journey back to a time when Jazz was cool, fresh, vibrant, boppin', swinging and every word in between !"
Quite possibly the best "blowing" album ever
Matt Bailey | SLC, Utah | 07/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is not an important album in the sense that something like Kind of Blue, or Birth of the Cool, or Giant Steps or Moanin' was. It is, however, a showcase of what modern jazz was originally all about: the jam session. This album is nothing more than a glorified jam session, but what a jam it is! All musicians, especially the Sonnys are in the finest of form, contributing burning soloes on the Eternal Triangle, hard swinging ones on Sunny Side of the Street, and finger-poppin' ones on After Hours. The playing is infectious: this cd will always put you in a good mood. I've debated with my friends many times over who wins in the fast Eternal Triangle: Stitt, with his bebop lines? Or Rollins, who somehow manages to be melodic even in this rapid atmosphere? But then Dizzy enters in with his trumpet way up high, and the "winner" question becomes impossible to answer. That's the way it is throughout the entire album, and that should be all the info one could ever need. A perfect 5 stars."
Unbelievably exciting
Robert Barradell | Victoria, BC, Canada | 03/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This stuff is pretty new to me, but this one had me from the opening notes. I'll listen to this over and over; there' s just so much going on and it all fits together so well. A really great album!

I would also like to add a special commendation to Ray Bryant (new to me) for some really swinging piano."