Sonny Stitt (as, ts), Lou Levy, Amos Trice (p), Leroy Vinnegar, George Morrow (b), Mel Lewis, Lenny McBrowne (d)
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.
-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