Sonny Stitt

Legends of Acid Jazz

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This CD reissues the complete contents of two former Lp's by saxophonist Sonny Stitt: Turn It On and Black Vibrations. These are rather unusual entries in Stitt's huge discography in that Sonny often sounds like a guest performer on his own sessions rather than the leader. During the earlier date, Stitt uses an electrical device (a Varitone) on his tenor that waters down his tone a bit. With organist Leon Spencer, guitarist Melvin Sparks and drummer Idris Muhammad setting down unrelenting grooves on most of the five numbers (including the 11-minute title cut), Stitt only seems to be making cameo appearances although trumpeter Virgil Jones gets in a few good solos on three of the numbers. The later date (which also has some good Jones trumpet) finds Stitt playing acoustically and switching to alto on two of the six jams, but once again it is the nonstop chugging of Sparks, Muhammad and either Leon Spencer or guest organist Don Patterson that fuels the fire. It is silly to call these soul jazz outings "acid jazz" since Sonny Stitt's solos are essentially bebop, but the grooves are danceable and funky.

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