Reference: FSRCD 591
Bar code: 8427328605915
The Blues and Sonny Stitt always had a smooth and engrossing partnership. These performances live up to their full potential, with Stitt in excellent form, at his most sparkling: quick fingers, a nimble musical mind, a well-developed ear, fine sense of time, attractive sound, and good intonation. He was a swinger full of energy, with unusual technical facility. But even when he was a lot closer to Charlie Parker, he always had things of his own to say: such a lyrical player could never be accurately labeled just a Parker clone or a hard swinger. Either way, he always injected much life into his playing, displaying his considerable virtuosity, blues feeling, and controlled emotion.
01. Blue Devil Blues (Sonny Stitt) 4:23
02. Home Free Blues (Sonny Stitt) 4:19
03. Blue Prelude (Jenkins-Bishop) 3:03
04. Frankie and Johnny (Traditional) 5:28
05. Birth of the Blues (DeSylva-Brown-Henderson) 5:53
06. A Blues Offering (Sonny Stitt) 4:01
07. Hymnal Blues (Sonny Stitt) 6:03
08. Mornin' After Blues (Sonny Stitt) 2:58
09. Blues for Lester (Sonny Stitt) 4:18
10. After You've Gone (Creamer-Layton) 3:42
11. Street of Dreams (Lewis-Young) 2:37
12. The Way You Look Tonight (Fields-Kern) 4:57
13. Presto (Sonny Stitt) 3:22
14. Tune Up (Miles Davis) 4:02
15. I Got Rhythm (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:03
16. Whats New? (Haggart-Burke) 3:39
17. Subito (Sonny Stitt) 3:54
18. If I Had You (Campbell-Connelly-Shapiro) 4:06
19. I'll Remember April (Raye-DePaul-Johnston) 4:33
Total time: 79:00 min.
Tracks #1-8, from "Sonny Stitt Blows The Blues" (Verve MG VS-6149)
Tracks #9-19, from "The Hard Swing" (Verve MG VS-6038)
Personnel on "Blows The Blues":
Sonny Stitt (alto & tenor sax), Lou Levy (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Mel Lewis (drums).
Recorded in Los Angeles, on December 2 (#1,6), and 22 (#2-5, 7-8), 1959
Personnel on "The Hard Swing":
Sonny Stitt (alto & tenor sax), Amos Trice (piano), George Morrow (bass), Lennie McBrowne (drums).
Recorded in New York, on February 9, 1959
Liner notes: Leonard Feather & Stephen Frostberg
Photography by Phil Stern / Tommy Mitchell
Cover design: Merle Shore / Norman Gollin
Original recordings produced by Norman Granz
This CD reissue produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
-Blows the Blues
"Sonny Stitt led a number of excellent record dates in 1959, especially at the end of the year when he produced three LPs for Verve over a span of three sessions with pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis. Playing alto sax throughout this album, Stitt hardly sounds like a Charlie Parker clone, something that unfortunately was a frequent claim by tin-eared critics throughout a fair portion of his career. The music includes several potent originals, especially "Hymnal Blues" (which is based on an old hymn) and the slow, powerful "Morning After Blues." Even an old warhorse like "Frankie and Johnnie" (which actually dates back to the early 1800s, according to liner note writer Leonard Feather) sounds fresh in the quartet's hands, with great solos by Stitt, Levy, and Vinnegar. This long out of print set will be tough to locate in either format."
Ken Dryden -All Music Guide
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