Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 03/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sonny Stitt may not be the most adventurous, the most unpredictable, the best saxophonist of all time, but he certainly is the most perfect. No one plays with more impeccable logic, executes with better technique or offers a truer sound--at once pure and direct and rich, warm and soulful. And he manages to maintain this perfection despite being listed as a leader on no fewer than 150 separate recording sessions (albums, not tracks)! He may not be the omega of saxophonists, but he should be considered the alpha by anyone who hopes to play the instrument.One of the big myths among even those players who respect Sonny's playing is that his so-called "popular" recordings--the early Roosts and Verves on which he turns in 5-6 flawless gems on each side of the record--can be overlooked in favor of his earlier pairings with Diz and Rollins or his later virtuosic work on Muse. On the contrary, it's on these miniature performances where Sonny's unique genius is especially apparent. Allowing himself no more than a couple of choruses he still manages to construct logically complete, emotionally satisfying solos with a beginning, middle, and end, time and time again. Just listen to what he does with "Alone Together"--first on tenor, then switching horns and taking the tune out with another textbook solo on alto.This reissue is especially welcome because it complements Sonny with an ideal rhythm section. Jo Jones was the prototypal straightahead swinging drummer during his Basie tenure; Jimmy Jones was always the self-effacing accompanist for Sarah Vaughan, and Ray Brown could be whatever the occasion demanded. All three merely lay down a harmonic/rhythmic track and stay out of Sonny's way--as it should be."
Donna J. Normington | Mesa, AZ | 03/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A friend said Stitt was probably his favorite jazz saxophonist. I was slightly embarrassed to admit I hadn't heard of him, so I thought I'd educate myself.
Am I glad I did! This is a great CD. The solos will burn up your CD player. The supporting cast is great as well. If you like bebop, or just a casual jazz fan, I suggest you add some Stitt to your collection."
Listen, learn, & enjoy
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sonny Stitt plays this 1956 studio session like a man on a mission. He has so much to say that it takes two horns (and a lot of fast-moving licks) to do it. In some cases, he switches between alto and tenor on the same tune. Overall, this album is a joyous outpouring of inspired playing by one of the most competent and confident saxophonists of his time, backed up by a solid three-man rhythm section.
The 10 tracks, totaling 46 minutes, offer a nice selection of blues riffs and jazz standards, including "Body and Soul," a requirement in every jazz saxophonist's repertoire. The fast-paced tunes are a great adrenalin rush, but there's also plenty of pent-up energy occasionally bursting to the surface in the slow tunes. This is a very satisfying listening experience for sax lovers, and a humbling one for sax players."