Sonny Stitt

Mr. Bojangles

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Mr. Bojangles pairs Sonny Stitt with arranger Don Sebesky for one of the smoothest and most mainstream-facing dates of the saxophonist's career. Sebesky's luminous treatments underscore the elegance of Stitt's soulful alto and tenor leads--Roland Hanna's graceful electric piano leads the music even closer to funk, but the overall emphasis is more on atmosphere than rhythm. The material likewise spotlights ballads and slow-burn groovers, borrowing liberally from the pop charts for tunes including "Killing Me Softly with His Song" and "Ben"--even War's "The World Is a Ghetto" simmers instead of boils.

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