258

Sonny Stitt: Just The Way It Was - "Live" At The Left Bank

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Sonny Stitt is the other diamond in the deuce that Label M is releasing to introduce its brave new label. Another tenor sax powerhouse, Stan Getz, also is on the front line of releases. Each with his own distinctive sound, Stitt and Getz both knew how to command the attention of an audience in his own way. Getz did it through pleas and songs and unexpected accents and a comforting tone. Stitt did it through a groove and straightforward aggressive improvisation that raised the level of fun among his listeners.

On Just The Way It Was , Stitt shrewdly utilizes an irresistible force in capturing the attention of his East Coast audience: the B-3 organ. Performing tunes that were fairly popular in the early 1970's when the concert was recorded, Stitt knew his audience, which was animated by the jazz organists of the time who went through the circuit. Don Patterson and his drummer Billy James feed Stitt the energy to respond to his ideas and to elevate the performance.

The discovery of Stitt's never-before-released performance at the Famous Theater in Baltimore is startling enough. Yet, there's also the discovery of Stitt's mastery of the electric saxophone, which Eddie Harris popularized. In fact, Stitt was the first to record on the electric saxophone, and he brings along his experimentations before an appreciative audience as the group locks in and becomes one in spirit with the listeners. It would have been a great performance to witness.

The rediscovery of Stitt's originality and imagination is not the result of accident. Producer Joel Dorn says that 32 Jazz intended to raise awareness primarily of 4 artists when he worked there: Pat Martino, Woody Shaw, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Sonny Stitt. Working with Stitt's widow-in the same manner that he developed with Getz' family in producing My Foolish Heart —Dorn has accessed priceless photographs of Stitt's personal life and documented the performance at the Famous Theater both aurally and visually.

At a time when it's incorrectly assumed that some of the most legendary jazz innovators have nothing more to be released, it's refreshing to hear a new Stitt recording once again. And to re-evaluate his talent and influence from a new perspective.

Track Listing:

Deuces Wild, Samba de Orpheus, Who Can I Turn To?, Cry Me A River, John Brown's Body, The Shadow Of Your Smile, Blues Up And Down

Personnel:

Sonny Stitt, tenor sax; Don Patterson, B-3 organ; Billy James, drums

| Record Label: Label M | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "WANDERlust" CD/LP/Track Review WANDERlust
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Los Guachos V" CD/LP/Track Review Los Guachos V
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!