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A great documentation of the "Lone Wolf" and his greatest albums from the Fifties and early Sixties. Includes 19 original albums on 10CD's by one of Bebops's greatest sax-soloists after Charlie Parker
Feat. Gene Ammons, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Oscar Peterson, Roy Eldridge, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Ray Brown, Brother Jack McDuff, Herb Ellis.
The saxophonist Sonny Stitt (1924-1982) recorded more than 100 albums as a leader. After first hearing Charlie Parker on a recording with Jay McShann as a fifteen-year-old, he switched from clarinet to the alto saxophone and began playing in swing orchestras, including the Tiny Bradshaw Band. In 1943, he met Parker (1920-1955) in person for the first time, and the latter was surprised just how similar the two of them sounded. This may have caused Stitt to also start playing tenor and baritone saxophone. In any case, Dizzy Gillespie was so impressed with his playing, that he immediately hired Stitt after Parker left his band and also kept inviting him for recordings. The masterpieces featuring Gillespie with Stitt and Sonny Rollins were already documented on the respective wallets of Dizzy Gillespie and on "I Love New York Jazz".
Another milestone for the young Stitt was his membership in Billy Eckstine's legendary orchestra, where he also met Dexter Gordon, as well as the tenor-saxophonist Gene Ammons. The latter also joined Stitt's septet (1949-52), and they kept on recording together, with "Boss Tenors" the climax among many a top record. Our selection documents exemplary highlights of Stitt's work in the fifties and early sixties. In addition to the standard format presenting Stitt with an excellent rhythm section, there were often enough interesting constellations with important musicians such as trumpeter Roy Eldridge, pianist Oscar Peterson, tenor player Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and organists like Jack McDuff and Don Patterson. "Stitt and Top Brass" is one of the few large ensembles with which he recorded as a bandleader, and the album also proves him to be one of the great soloists of Bebop: with just those, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and a few others, he toured the world under the name "Giants Of Jazz" in the years before his death, an ensemble that was also recorded live and in the studio.