Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Sonny Stitt played alto sax in Charlie Parker's style, but with such personal conviction, such emotional sureness and without any hint of slickness, popularization, or stylistic immaturity, that he created a dilemma about ... more »
Sonny Stitt played alto sax in Charlie Parker's style, but with such personal conviction, such emotional sureness and without any hint of slickness, popularization, or stylistic immaturity, that he created a dilemma about originality or individuality in jazz. The picture was further complicated by the fact that his tenor style was quite different and yet played with equal individuality and feeling. And, of course, he knew that what Parker did was not "run the changes" but play melodic ideas.
In these recordings Stitt is all over both his horns, communicating directly and deeply. All the alto sax performances-he plays tenor only on 5 tracks-are full of fire and brimstone. The tunes are for the most part Stitt's originals, plus two classic Bird pieces and seven standards, but they never sound tired, no matter how many times they've been heard before, when they are played with such intensity, vibrancy and imagination as here.
2 LPs in one CD (Sonny Stitt + Burnin')
01. Cool Blues (Parker) (3:59)
02. Jack Spratt (Stitt) (6:21)
03. This Is Always (Warren-Gordon) (3:03)
04. Mister Son (Stitt) (4:43)
05. Propapagoon (Stitt) (4:15)
06. Dancing On The Ceiling (Rodgers-Hart) (4:39)
07. Everyone Does (Stitt) (5:08)
08. Just You, Just Me (Greer-Klages) (5:13)
09. Ko-Ko (Parker) (3:54)
10. A Minor Sax (Stitt) (4:06)
11. Lover Man (Davis-Sherman-Ramirez) (3:46)
12. Reed And A Half (Stitt) (3:26)
13. How High The Moon (Lewis-Hamilton) (4:43)
14. I'll Tell You Later (Stitt) (4:21)
15. Look For The Silver Lining (Kern-DeSylva) (4:30)
16. Easy Living (Rainger-Robin) (3:59)
17. It's Hipper Than That (Stitt) (4:43)
Includes 9 -great- tracks with Barry Harris...
John Chapin | Jackson Heights, NY USA | 10/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is comprised of 2 LPs: Argo LP 629 (with undocumented piano, bass, drums) and Burnin' (with Barry Harris on piano, William Austin on bass, and Frank Gant, drums). Both from 1958.
Both dates put Sonny in great form on both alto and tenor. He plays a bunch of blues & rhythm changes on the Argo date -- mostly originals with a few standards. Stitt is really cooking on up-tempo tunes, and while he seems to never miss a note, he still gets that "sound of hurt" that just makes you want to hear more. But the ballads on alto really knock me out; the version of "This is Always" is enough to make you want to cry.
On the Burnin' date we get to hear the brilliance of Barry Harris on piano... he plays to most perfect introductions and his comping is just great. Barry's solos are poetic narratives, telling complete stories in just a few bars -- Stitt and Harris seem to inspire each other on this date.
I had always thought that the best Stitt + Harris sides were Constellation and Tune-Up, but Burnin', cut 15 years earlier, is just as wonderful -- maybe better.
Again, the Burnin' date has great fast work by all, but for me the highlight is the medium tempo tunes. This second set has a few more standards, and they're played at medium tempo.
"Look For the Silver Lining" is a simple and sentimental Jerome Kern melody magically transformed into a real work of depth. The quartet recorded "Lover Man" on this date. Do you believe in an afterlife? Either way, check out that killin cadenza!"