Reference: FSRCD 467
Bar code: 8427328604673
Ten years before he made these recordings, during a brief 1959 sojourn in Los Angeles, Sonny Stitt, already weighed down by constant comparison with Charlie Bird Parker, turned partly away from alto, which he loved, to the tenor saxophone. And, though from then on he customarily used both instruments, the alto remained his prime horn of choice, as is abundantly clear here. Cushioned by a solidly swinging West Coast rhythm section led by the sensitive piano of Lou Levy, he is a powerful, melodic, superlatively thoughtful and intense performer. This is Stitt at the top of his form, playing with slashing authority and a piledriver beat.
01. I Cover The Waterfront (Green-Heyman) (3:17)
02. Lazy Bones (Mercer-Carmichael) (7:41)
03. Sunday (Styne-Conn-Miller-Krueger) (3:54)
04. Just Friends (Lewis-Klenner) (3:48)
05. All Of Me (Simmons-Mark) (3:02)
06. Two Bad Days Blues (Stitt) (4:43)
07. Its You Or No One (Styne-Cahn) (4:31)
08. Blue Smile (Stitt) (4:00)
09. Lonesome Road (Shildkret-Austin) (4:04)
10. The Gipsy (Reid) (4:03)
11. Thats The Way To Be (Stitt) (2:08)
12. There Is No Greater Love (Jones-Symes) (5:02)
13. Jaunty (Stitt) (5:11)
14. Blue Sunday (Stitt) (3:24)
15. The Way You Look Tonight (Kern-Fields) (5:02)
Tracks #1-8, from the 12" album "Saxophone Supremacy" (Verve MG V-8377)
Tracks #9-15, from the 12" album "Sonny Stitt Swings the Most" (Verve V6-8380)
Sonny Stitt (as), Lou Levy (p), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Mel Lewis (d).
Recorded at Radio Recorder Studio, Hollywood, on December 21, 22 & 23, 1959
Original recordings supervised by Russell Garcia
Reissue produced by Jordi Pujol
"Sonny Stitt had a difficult time coming out from under the shadow of Charlie Parker, even though Stitt's approach to playing the alto sax was only partially similar to the late giant. Stitt (who is incorrectly listed as playing tenor sax on the album jacket) is joined by a solid rhythm section consisting of pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis. Most of this album is dedicated to standards. A loping treatment of "I Cover the Waterfront" is followed by his playful take of Hoagy Carmichael's "Lazybones." Also of interest are the leader's two originals, the frisky "Two Bad Days Blues" and the uptempo romp "Blue Smile," the latter of which has a fine solo by Levy but is prematurely faded as Stitt returns. This Verve LP was recorded during the same sessions that produced 'Sonny Stitt Plays the Most' and 'Sonny Stitt Blows the Blues', but this long out of print disc will be somewhat hard to track down."
Ken Dryden -All Music Guide
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