Stitt's Bits: Bebop Recordings 1949-1952 [Box Set]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
The rap on Sonny Stitt is that he was little more than an imitator of Charlie Parker, without a firm identity of his own. However, from the evidence of these early Stitt recordings -- gathered together into a three-CD box -- the first part of the rap doesn't quite ring true, though the second remains an open question. Stitt may have shared an occasional rhetorical turn or blindingly fast run with Bird -- most tellingly on "S`Wonderful" -- but definitely not his entire style. You can hear plenty of Lester Young influences on the tracks where he plays tenor sax, and many of the ballads preview the soulful inflections that would flourish when he joined the soul-jazz ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
The rap on Sonny Stitt is that he was little more than an imitator of Charlie Parker, without a firm identity of his own. However, from the evidence of these early Stitt recordings -- gathered together into a three-CD box -- the first part of the rap doesn't quite ring true, though the second remains an open question. Stitt may have shared an occasional rhetorical turn or blindingly fast run with Bird -- most tellingly on "S`Wonderful" -- but definitely not his entire style. You can hear plenty of Lester Young influences on the tracks where he plays tenor sax, and many of the ballads preview the soulful inflections that would flourish when he joined the soul-jazz movement in the '60s. Moreover, aware of the Bird backlash, Stitt recorded the majority of these tracks on the tenor, with occasional sessions on the baritone and finally, about two-thirds of the way through the set, on alto. What we don't hear at this point in his career is a truly individual voice; at times, when he and Gene Ammons are dueling on tenors, it's difficult to tell the difference between them upon casual listening. Not only are Stitt's own sessions included in this thorough survey, but also those where he was a co-leader with Ammons and Bud Powell, and a sometimes-non-soloing sideman for Ammons, J.J. Johnson, and the obscure Billy Eckstine-wannabe vocalist Teddy Williams. Above all, this box is a revealing look at the beginnings of the Prestige label just before Bob Weinstock learned how to exploit the potential of LP with open-ended blowing sessions. All of these tracks -- including those designated as Parts 1 and 2 -- were recorded to fit on a single side of a 10" 78 rpm record, as was still the custom of the time, and the neighborhood jukeboxes were definitely a target. Hence we hear Stitt not just as a high-minded -- if by necessity, heavily self-edited -- bebopper, but also as a participant in de facto period pop and R&B sessions. There are even some novelty numbers that tend to be ignored by history (how about a title like "Who Threw the Sleeping Pills in Rip Van Winkle's Coffee?" -- with group vocals!). Even deep in the bop era, jazz musicians still made gestures toward whatever happened to be selling to the masses, voluntarily or not. Although there are no unreleased tunes or outtakes, several tracks make their first CD appearances here, and three (including the notorious "Van Winkle") are being heard for the first time since the 78 era.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/25/2006
  • Label: Prestige
  • UPC: 888072300439
  • Catalog Number: 330043
  • Sales rank: 151,129

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Afternoon in Paris - J.J. Johnson Boppers (3:07)
  2. 2 Afternoon in Paris (3:05)
  3. 3 Elora (3:06)
  4. 4 Elora (3:12)
  5. 5 Teapot (2:45)
  6. 6 Teapot (3:06)
  7. 7 Blue Mode (3:48)
  8. 8 Blue Mode (2:53)
  9. 9 All God's Chillun Got Rhythm - Sonny Stitt/Bud Powell Quartet (3:01)
  10. 10 Sonny Side - Sonny Stitt/Bud Powell Quartet (2:23)
  11. 11 Bud's Blues - Sonny Stitt/Bud Powell Quartet (2:36)
  12. 12 Sunset - Sonny Stitt/Bud Powell Quartet (3:49)
  13. 13 Strike Up the Band - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:29)
  14. 14 Strike Up the Band - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:54)
  15. 15 I Want to Be Happy - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:14)
  16. 16 Taking a Chance on Love - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:36)
  17. 17 Fine and Dandy - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:44)
  18. 18 Fine and Dandy - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:43)
  19. 19 Avalon - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:32)
  20. 20 Later - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:03)
  21. 21 Ain't Misbehavin' - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:05)
  22. 22 Mean to Me - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:10)
  23. 23 Stairway to the Stars - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:19)
  24. 24 Bye Bye - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (3:04)
  25. 25 Let It Be - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (3:07)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Blues Up and Down - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (1:28)
  2. 2 Blues Up and Down - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (2:25)
  3. 3 Blues Up and Down - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (2:40)
  4. 4 You Can Depend on Me - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (2:52)
  5. 5 You Can Depend on Me - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (2:51)
  6. 6 Touch of the Blues - Teddy Williams (3:12)
  7. 7 Dumb Woman Blues - Teddy Williams (2:50)
  8. 8 Chabootie - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (3:04)
  9. 9 Who Threw the Sleeping Pills in Rip Van Winkle's Coffee? - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (2:35)
  10. 10 Gravy (Aka Walkin') - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (3:03)
  11. 11 Easy Glide - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (3:00)
  12. 12 Count Every Star - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:02)
  13. 13 Nice Work If You Can Get It - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:42)
  14. 14 There Will Never Be Another You - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:35)
  15. 15 Blazin' - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:26)
  16. 16 Back in Your Own Back Yard - Gene Ammons Band (3:15)
  17. 17 Sweet Jennie Lou - Gene Ammons Band (2:38)
  18. 18 La Vie en Rose - Gene Ammons Band (3:05)
  19. 19 Seven Eleven - Gene Ammons Band (2:56)
  20. 20 To Think You've Chosen Me - Sonny Stitt Band (3:02)
  21. 21 After You've Gone - Sonny Stitt Band (2:30)
  22. 22 Our Very Own - Sonny Stitt Band (3:10)
  23. 23 'S Wonderful - Sonny Stitt Band (2:29)
  24. 24 Stringin' the Jug - Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band (5:07)
  25. 25 Nevertheless (I'm in Love with You) - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:50)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Jeepers Creepers - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:58)
  2. 2 Imagination - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:27)
  3. 3 Cherokee - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:35)
  4. 4 'Round About One A.M. - Gene Ammons Band (3:05)
  5. 5 Jug - Gene Ammons Band (2:52)
  6. 6 Wow - Gene Ammons Band (2:56)
  7. 7 Blue and Sentimental - Gene Ammons Band (3:12)
  8. 8 Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:50)
  9. 9 Can't We Be Friends - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:43)
  10. 10 New Blues Up and Down - Gene Ammons Band (5:10)
  11. 11 The Thrill of Your Kiss - Gene Ammons Band (2:45)
  12. 12 If the Moon Turns Green - Gene Ammons Band (2:47)
  13. 13 P.S. I Love You - Sonny Stitt Quartet (3:04)
  14. 14 This Can't Be Love - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:50)
  15. 15 Down with It - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:35)
  16. 16 For the Fat Man - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:59)
  17. 17 Splinter - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:43)
  18. 18 Confession' - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:39)
  19. 19 Undecided - Gene Ammons Band (2:42)
  20. 20 (It Will Have to Do) Until the Real Thing Comes Along - Gene Ammons Band (2:42)
  21. 21 Because of Rain - Gene Ammons Band (2:50)
  22. 22 Charmine - Gene Ammons Band (3:02)
  23. 23 Cool Mambo - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:42)
  24. 24 Sonny Sounds - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:31)
  25. 25 Blue Mambo - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:28)
  26. 26 Stitt's It - Sonny Stitt Quartet (2:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sonny Stitt Primary Artist, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Gene Ammons Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Jo Jones Drums
Duke Jordan Piano
Bud Powell Piano
Max Roach Drums
Matthew Gee Trombone
Tommy Potter Bass
Clarence "Sleepy" Anderson Piano
Art Blakey Drums
Nelson Boyd Bass
Bennie Green Trombone
John Houston Piano
John Hunt Trumpet
J.J. Johnson Trombone
Junior Mance Piano
Earl May Bass
Curly Russell Bass
Ernie Shepard Bass
Teddy Stewart Drums
Shadow Wilson Drums
Gene Wright Bass
Wesley Landers Drums
Bill Massey Trumpet
Charles Bateman Piano
Joe Newman Quartet Trumpet
Larry Townsend Vocals
Humberto Morales Timbales
John Richard Lewis Piano
Eli Dabney Trombone
Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Band Track Performer
Teddy Williams Vocals
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Al Jolson Composer
Sonny Stitt Composer
Matthew Gee Composer
Jimmy Mundy Composer
Ray Noble Composer
Cal Massey Composer
Vincent Youmans Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Johnny Burke Composer
Irving Caesar Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Frank Signorelli Composer
James Van Heusen Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Bob Weinstock Audio Production, Original Session Supervision
Victor Young Composer
Bernie Hanighen Composer
Jack Elliott Composer
Harvey Pekar Liner Notes
Matty Malneck Composer
Joe Tarantino Remastering
Jamie Putnam Art Direction
Irving Gordon Composer
Sammy Gallop Composer
Bruno Coquatrix Composer
Walter Jurmann Composer
Erno Rapee Composer
Teddy Williams Composer
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