The name Sonny Stitt should be familiar to those that love jazz. Stitt was an important architect in the language of bebop and was an avid disciple of Charlie Parker, playing both alto and tenor from the 1950s to the early 1980s. By age 20, he was already a professional musician, playing alto saxophone with the Tiny Bradshaw band. A high profile stint with Billy Eckstine’s big band; a hotbed of bebop innovators followed in 1945. A string of stellar small group sessions in the late ‘40s with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, Kenny Clarke, Fats Navarro and Bud Powell among others earned him the renown as an outstanding modern saxophone virtuoso. Teddy Reig, who had produced Stitt’s many appearances on Savoy sessions, had started Roost Records in 1949 and was quick to record Stitt after the dissolution of the Ammons-Stitt band. Reig would continue to produce a series of magnificent Stitt albums until 1965. True to his lone wolf nature, Stitt would record throughout this period as a non-exclusive artist, making albums for Verve, Prestige, Argo and Impulse among others. Roost did not have the budget and distribution that other labels enjoyed, so much of his work here, despite its excellence, did not garner the sales or reputation that it deserved.
Sonny Stitt was a true improviser and his solos on these alternate takes differ substantially from the later takes chosen to be the masters. Some of them were uncovered by Teddy Reig in 1986 for an LP entitled Symphony Hall Swing. The rest were first released on the 2001 Mosaic CD collection The Complete Roost Sonny Stitt Studio Sessions, but have yet to appear on the vinyl format.
|A1||They Say It's Wonderful|
|A2||Why Do I Love You|
|A3||Symphony Hall Swing|
|A5||The Nearness Of You|
|A6||If I Should Lose You|
|A7||Sweet Georgia Brown|
|B1||Blues For Yard|
|B3||Engos, The Bloos|
|B4||People Will Say We're In Love|
|B5||It Might As Well Be Spring|