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Sonny Stitt: Live at Ronnie Scott’s

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In any playing situation, Stitt was capable of ignition, blastoff and sustained orbiting, but here he doesn’t make it to the launching pad. The saxophonist is content to let the rhythm section do most of the playing. He now and then approaches the microphone to reel out strings of his patented licks, sing a bit or talk blearily to the audience. He never puts together a first-rate solo. The only time he comes close to rising to the occasion is in an exchange with tenor saxophonist Dick Morrissey, who is more interesting. It is an injustice to the memory of a splendid musician to release an album made of ad hoc tapes from a failed performance.