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Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 50: Sonny Stitt

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Album Review

Though Sonny Stitt recorded a lot, there are large gaps of material that have yet to be adequately documented on CD, particularly what he recorded for Verve. Thus, the Verve Jazz Masters series rises again to the occasion, selecting from a dozen different Verve sources, including collaborative albums with Gene Ammons and Oscar Peterson, and guest shots on records by Dizzy Gillespie and the so-called Modern Jazz Sextet. From this vantage point of his career, the old line about Stitt being a clone of Charlie Parker doesn't hold water, for despite an occasional Bird-like flurry, Stitt had his own harmonic ideas and somewhat mellower tone on alto, and an even more individual majestic concept on tenor. The CD captures him in a quintessentially Verve series of diverse settings, with straight-ahead quartets, sextets, a lush Ralph Burns orchestra session, an off-center Jimmy Giuffre arrangement of "Laura," and mano-a-mano summit meetings, the most stimulating being a cooking, ten-minute jam with Peterson and Roy Eldridge ("The String"). Sonny even duels with himself — on alto and tenor — on "Sonny's Tune." All told, an excellent introduction to Stitt in his prime. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: February 2, 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 Stitt. 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
Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 50: Sonny Stitt, Sonny Stitt
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: Sep 26, 1995

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