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Sonny Stitt: Endgame Brilliance

Sonny Stitt was one of many great players who bounced back from ’60s disillusion and disenfranchisement to hit second career peaks in the ’70s, and this two-fer-one CD reissue marks a double parabola of his rubberized progress.

Before and after Stitt’s revivifying world tours with The Giants of Jazz (with Diz, Monk, Kai and Bu), producer Don Schlitten put him in front of a simpatico acoustic trio-Barry Harris, Sam Jones and Roy Brooks (7/71) or Alan Dawson (2/72)-and let the tapes roll. Lord, how swift they rolled! It wasn’t so much hot tempos-Sonny does play unctuous yet riveting ballads-as emotive precision and firm unanimity of style that made the sessions cohere with no wasted notes.

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