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Kaleidoscope

Sonny Stitt

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Album Review

Deftly handling the alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone, bebop giant Sonny Stitt is heard to perfection here on a variety of early-'50s dates. Stitt not only shows off his patented speed throughout, but he goes a long way in dispelling criticisms of him being all fire and no grace. The 16-track disc kicks off with four tight, Latin-tinged swingers featuring an octet that includes trumpeter Joe Newman and timbales player Humberto Morales. Switching to piano quartet mode for the bulk of the disc, Stitt ranges effortlessly from frenetic blasts ("Cherokee") to golden-hued ballads ("Imagination"). Capping off the set with four bonus cuts featuring the likes of Gene Ammons and Junior Mance, Stitt delivers one of the top sets of performances from the late bebop era.

Biography

Born: 02 February 1924 in Boston, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Charlie Parker has had many admirers and his influence can be detected in numerous styles, but few have been as avid a disciple as Sonny Sitt. There was almost note-for-note imitation in several early Stitt solos, and the closeness remained until Stitt began de-emphasizing the alto in favor of the tenor, on which he artfully combined the influences of Parker and Lester Young. Stitt gradually developed his own sound and style, though he was never far from Parker on any alto solo. A wonderful blues...
Full bio

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