Paul Gonsalves / Sonny Stitt

Salt and Pepper

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This 72-minute LP starts off with one of the underrated gems of the 1960s, an exciting match-up of tenors Sonny Stitt and Paul Gonsalves. Other than the brief throwaway "Theme from Lord of the Flies" (producer Bob Thiele's idea), this is very much a jam session, with "Salt and Pepper" being a heated midtempo blues and the two competitive tenors stretching out on "S'posin'" and a lengthy "Perdido." Actually, the most memorable selection from the date is the one on which Stitt switches to alto, "Stardust." His beautiful playing behind Gonsalves' warm melody statement raises the session to the classic level. Also included on this consistently exciting LP is a Sonny Stitt quartet set originally titled Now! Although Stitt (doubling on alto and tenor) recorded scores of quartet sessions, he sounds particularly inspired here, especially on such offbeat material as "Estralita," the Dixieland standard "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," and "My Mother's Eyes." Highly recommended to bebop and straight-ahead jazz fans.

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