Sonny Stitt

Compact Jazz: Sonny Stitt

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One of the best horn players to spring from Charlie Parker's bebop conception, alto and tenor saxophonist Sonny Stitt came up in the '40s to maintain a productive career until the time of his death in the early '80s. Whether eating up frenetic bop lines, digging into the blues, or waxing sweetly on a ballad, Stitt found fresh ground to work, never forsaking expression for speed. This bargain roundup of his Verve sides covers the latter half of the '50s and early '60s, with several sides from a variety of combo dates plus a few numbers cut with a string orchestra. Backed by such stellar pianists as Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Jones, Bobby Timmons, and Jimmy Rowles, Stitt seemingly tosses off highlights like "Autumn in New York," "Scrapple From the Apple," and a fleet and swinging "I Know That You Know." Always assured and full of fire, Stitt delivers on this perfect introduction for newcomers.

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