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Sonny Stitt: It’s Magic

Sonny Stitt’s It’s Magic (Delmark), an organ-trio date recorded in 1969, is less magic than simple sleight-of-hand. The record’s tone is set by Stitt’s first flat, desultory notes at the beginning of “Four.” After a bland statement of the head, he plays a couple of workmanlike tenor choruses. Absent is the dauntless intensity he could bring to the table when the mood struck him. His use of a Varitone device-an early signal processor that added an octave below the tenor’s normal register-might have been an inhibiting factor, although the extra octave is just barely audible when it can be heard at all.

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