Soul Stream

Sonny Stitt in New York

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This is really called Sonny Stitt's "New York Jazz." Another home run for the Verve digipak reissue. This is maybe some of the best Stitt I've ever heard. Buy this now and don't worry about it. He tears it up with the rhythm section just keeping it grooving, Stitt does what he does best. Play over the changes like a mf.

Edited by Soul Stream

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Soul Stream - the actual title is called New York Jazz and yes I agree it is a killer. I have tried on several threads here to generate interest, but it seems I am invisible, probably my Mobley comments. Poor Sonny Stitt - he never really gets his due credit.

THis one has Oscar Peterson on piano and great Basie drummer Joe Jones.

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Soul Stream - the actual title is called New York Jazz and yes I agree it is a killer.  I have tried on several threads here to generate interest, but it seems I am invisible,  probably my Mobley comments.  Poor Sonny Stitt - he never really gets his due credit.

THis one has Oscar Peterson on piano and great Basie drummer Joe Jones.

Funny, I was editing my initial post to correct the title at the same time you were correcting me!

Sorry to have gotten it wrong. Thought about deleting the thread and starting again, but decided against it. I hope people realize "New York Jazz" is the topic. :wacko:

Anyway, it has Ray Brown, Jo Jones, and Jimmy Jones on piano. Here's another one where I STRONGLY disagree with the AMG. They call it a very mediocre session for Stitt, nothing special. 3 stars. <_<

Anyway, his playing is so tremendous on here. At least to my ears. This is what jazz sounds like. This album.

Edited by Soul Stream

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Yes, I am also mystified at the general view of this album. I like it so much better than other Stitt albums that critics and fans seem to like such as Stitt Plays Bird or Only the Blues. New York Jazz is much better than either of those.

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I have this on lp somewhere and haven't heard it in a long time. After going through the Stitt Mosaic a few times I kindof couldn't pick up a Stitt session for a spell! Jimmy Jones. . . anything with Jimmy is worth picking up. I remember this as being good; glad that Verve is putting out some nice cheap reissues again.

Edited by jazzbo

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Lon, haven't heard a lot about the Stit Mosaic other than it's quite a bit of music. I've been on the fence about getting it for some time. However, New York Jazz has me thinking I might make the plunge. Any thoughts? Thanks for the help. :D

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me too regarding the Stitt Mosaic, I have this waiting at home as a taster of what the Mosaic set might be like.

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Hey, the Stitt Mosaic is really fantastic, marred only by the fact that it has a sameness running throughout it. . .much the same instrumentation over and over, and the same sort of "Sonny's in the studio blowing" feel to the sessions.

Still tons of masterful Stitt and piano work too from great pianists. . . .The larger ensemble sessions are excellent as well and make you wish for more. It's a set to consider strongly indeed.

I got it and played it through a few times and then recently played much of it again. . . . It definitely gives you your Stitt "fix" and then some!

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Thanks Lon. I've really been diggin' New York Jazz. And after looking at the Mosaic site for disc. infor, the set looks like more of the same. Which, like you mentioned, is good and bad. Maybe I'll do what I always say I'll do for once. That is, enjoy the album I have instead of rushing for more right away. Think I'll let this sink in. But it has made me decide to get the Mosaic, although not right away. Think I'll enjoy what I got. There's so much to like on NY Jazz, that'll it'll take me a few months just to absorb that.

Thanks again Lon.

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I'm with Lon-the Stitt Mosaic is excellent, but it'll also do ya for Stitt for a while. I found a Japanese LP of New York Jazz a few years ago at Princeton Record Exchange, this reissue and the glowing reviews has me anxious to dig it out soon.

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I wasn't much of a Sonny Stitt fan (just hadn't heard that much, no other reason) until I picked up the Mosaic. After that I became a total nut and picked up everything in sight. The Mosaic was a real revelation for me as to how good he was, especially the Quincy Jones material. He obviously doesn't get the credit because of the Bird comparison and because he never had a set band most of the time but his tone is just so beautiful, especially on alto. Even when bored, he probably sounded better that 90% of other people. Another great discovery from that session was Jimmy Jones, someone I had never heard of until then.

What would be great is if Verve would come out with a box of his 50s materia. It'd be a great companion to the Roost material. Besides this session, there's the well known Only the Blues and Sonny Side Up, the Oscar Peterson record (fantastic as well), For Musicians Only (with Diz and Getz). Also on Roost but not on the Mosaic cause it's live is At the High Hat dates. Fantastic. Sonny even plays bari.

Can't recommend the Mosaic enough, as you can tell. If you're on the fence, go for it.

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Soul Stream,

You didn't ask me but I"ll put my 2 cents in. I like the Stitt Mosaic and I'll grant that Lon's comment about much the same instrumentation has some validity -it's mostly Stitt, with piano, bass and drums, sometimes another horn - but that's Sonny's forte and I really don't prefer him with big band or another format. Maybe it seems like a lot the same since it is a whopping 9 cds. But I suppose you could make the same criticism of Hank Mobley's Blue Note sessions.

(On the other hand, there is quite a good date with Stitt and an organ on this set)

If you are afraid to take the plunge on the Mosaic, you can probably find 2 of the best single sessions from that box, "Sonny Stitt Plays" and I think the title is "Sonny Stitt and the New Yorkers" - they were both available from Fresh Sound in the 90's and didn't sound very audiophile quality, but I think they have come out in that blue note mini lp series from japan done by Ron McMaster which sound very good.

If you can find it the 32 jazz cd called "Endgame:Brilliance" is quite good.

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i just picked up the "Verve Jazz Masters 50" by Sonny Stitt, and i am listening to it now. Why this collection is out of print i will never know. There is not a bad song on it, and i believe only about 2-3 of the 12 have been available elsewhere on cd. Mosaic ought to do a Sonny Stitt Verve collection.

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To further elaborate, not all of the Verves have been released here or in Japan, to my knowledge. Notable examples are Sonny Stitt Plays Jimmy Giuffre Arrangements (1959), Previously Unreleased Recordings (1960; one song is on that Verve Jazz Masters), an unissued 1961 date (according to Lord). Others are not that easy to find: The Sensual Sound of Sonny Stitt (1961; the Ralph Burns Orchestra date), two untitled sessions but released in Japan as Saxophone Supremacy and Sonny Stitt Swings the Most, and the Hard Swing. Yes, a Mosaic would be welcome but since they just did one and it's still in print, I'm not holding my breath.

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Lon, haven't heard a lot about the Stit Mosaic other than it's quite a bit of music. I've been on the fence about getting it for some time.

I got this Mosaic for Christmas and it took me a little time to warm up to it. That said, this set is fast becoming one of my favorites. It's been in very heavy rotation the last 4 months or so. Great stuff! Obviously he can play "them changes". Some people consider him a bit of a one trick pony, however I really like his ballad playing. His rendition of Harlem Nocturne is one of many, many highlights on this great set.

Edited by Sundog

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Some people consider him a bit of a one trick pony

That's one trick I'd love to learn. ;):D . Anyway, I think after Coltrane and Miles, that type of inner-searching style that remains most popular even today. The sort of playing Stitt, Ammons, ect. (eric alexander anyone?) do gets a bad rap. This sort of attitude drives me insane. An arguement can be made, well made imho, that the playing of Trane has the same sort of sameness as well. "Inside" playing at it's best. Nothing wrong with being "inside." Matter of fact, everyone is so "outside" now, nobody's left inside. ;)

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Thanks for the heads up.Screw all the stupid critics.Stitt rules!!!

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Yeah---screw all the smart critics too! :huh:

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I think the thing about Stitt that either attracts people or drives them nuts is that you pretty much know what he's going to play before he plays it. The guy didn't exactly have an unlimited vocabulary, nor was he prone to extensively variating (a Don Pullen verb) it, and that right there turns some people off.

But not me, because even though the "what" is pretty much a forgone conclusion, there's a big, at times HUGE, difference from album to album in HOW he plays it. When he's really, REALLY on, it's a total gas, because the guy could just swing you into bad health, as the old folks say, and his technique and tone were superb. Besides, the guy had the insticts of a warrior, and it's not surprising the the faster the company he kept, the more likely he was to bare his teeth and REALLY blow and actually variate that vocabulary some/lots. When he's on but not REALLY on, in that "we both know I could kill you in the blink of an eye, but let's keep it nice, ok?" mode that he was probably the master of, it's still cool, and for those same reasons, but not exactly riveting forever and ever, at least not for me. The variating becomes less important, but the groove is still good enough. But when he's on autopilot, well, if he's going to take a nap, I think I will too. We all need our rest.

I think most of the albums he made fall into that second category, but the ones that fall into the first (the various sessions w/Powell, the Dizzy/Rollins stuff, CONSTELLATION, etc) are as good as anything and better than most. Some of those in the second category (LIVE AT DJ LOUNGE, TUNE UP, a lot of the Verve stuff, etc.) have fond places in my collection. That shit swings, is soulful as you want it to be, and if no ground is broken, or even cracked, big whoop. There's a time and a place for everything. I do, however, find the "niceness" to be a facade a lot of times, and that only goes so far for my tastes. Still, it's a nice enough ride for a little while. But an autopilot Sonny Stitt record is something to avoid at all costs, for the same (hopefully obvious) reasons that anybody else's is. We ALL got better things to do with our life.

And then there's JUST THE WAY IT WAS - "LIVE" AT LEFT BANK. WHOOEEEEEE! :tup:tup:tup:tup:tup

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Indeed - "God Bless Jug & Sonny"!!

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I know DJ Lounge is one that Jim loves. It was discussed pretty extensively at the old you know where. Not sure if it fits into the second category because that date really swings. I thought he was on that night. Even if he's coasting some, his coasting is a let better than most people's on.

He had a lot of talent but I think the big disappointment is that he probably could have been better. There's something to say about what he did he did very well. And for that I love his stuff. But you just wonder what he would have been like had he embraced the times. Look at Dexter. He tried to incorporate what Sonny Rollins and Coltrane were doing to a certain extent but Sonny S never wanted to seem to go there. That's probably part of the reason why Alfred had the conniption at the Dexter "session."

But you can still love Sonny for what he does (and I do), there's just that nagging thought in the back of your mind.

Edited by Brad

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Sonny Stitt in New York, buy this now

I obeyed, and am glad I did!

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Sonny Stitt in New York, buy this now

I obeyed, and am glad I did!

I'm glad I could help with all your Sonny Stitt needs... :D

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