Two for your money
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 06/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Move on Over" is one of the reissues on this deceptively titled Spanish import, which also includes the complete "At the D. J. Lounge." The title session is a studio date that nevertheless "feels" live. Alto saxophonist Nicky Hill is up to the task of challenging Sonny, and underrated guitarist Joe Diorio, who was simply unreal when I caught him live with Sonny in the 1960s (no one played "Cherokee" faster than Stitt, but Dorio could match him, with fat tones, aggressive attack, speed to burn), contributes mightily to the heat and swing. The other session was recorded live at McKie's Lounge (63rd and Cottage Grove in Chicago), and features stormy exchanges between Sonny and tenor saxophonist John Board. This is great inner-city lounge jazz by some "bad" players. Although neither Eddie Buster nor Jack McDuff was a match for Donald Patterson, Buster handles the B3 manuals and bass pedals like a master on these dates. Not a bad value, even at inflated import prices. One small highlight: a grooving version of "My Mother's Eyes," a wonderful old tune that, besides Stitt, Etta Jones sang and Monty Alexander recently revived (a brilliant rendition--on "Live at the Iridium")."
The hot licks just keep on comin'
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 10/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Early in his career, Sonny Stitt was seen by some as an alto player overshadowed by Charlie Parker. Later, when I discovered his recordings in the 1970s, I thought of him as primarily a tenor man. This CD - two complete albums with almost 80 minutes of music - falls in between those two periods and showcases Stitt on both horns. In each case, he's joined by another formidable saxman and backed up by a rhythm section featuring organ. Overall, the 14 tracks present a nice mix of ballads, bop, and blues to show off Stitt's improvisational prowess.
The first eight tracks are the 1963 studio album "Move On Over." Stitt is joined on the last three of these tracks by Nicky Hill, who plays alto rather than his usual tenor. (The personnel roster that lists him as playing tenor is incorrect.) Listeners should have no trouble telling apart these two saxmen, but in case you do, Stitt is on the left channel and Hill is on the right.
Tracks 9 to 14 are the 1961 live recording "At the D.J. Lounge." The recording quality is not as clean as the studio album, but the performance is energetic and includes nice tenor solos by Johnny Board, whose big sound conveys a style that's a bit less technical than Stitt's but very melodic. This makes for some interesting interplay between the two.
Like most imports, this CD is priced higher than one would expect for a single disc. But it's filled to the limit with music and has good liner notes, including the original notes from both of the albums. This one is definitely worth adding to your collection."