390

Sonny Stitt: Personal Appearance

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Few artists recorded as prolifically as Sonny Stitt; over the course over 100+ albums, he seemed to play with anybody willing to pick up an instrument and join him in the studio. Inevitably, there was a lot of mediocre material released, and it can be a little tricky finding Stitt's best stuff.

Personal Appearance is one of the better ones, an outing which finds the saxophonist playing in a Parker-influenced style over a selection of bebop favorites like "Easy To Love" and "Autumn In New York." Stitt's most famous and highly regarded recordings are those in which he is paired with another horn (most notably Gene Ammons or Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis), yet as the sole lead instrument he proves that he has more than enough ideas to hold his own and doesn't require the interplay the extra horn provides.

On this relatively early date from 1957, Stitt shows an uncanny ability to run changes and stitch together solos that venture into unexpected corners, playing dizzying series of notes without sounding showy. He has clearly mastered the vocabulary of the bebop solo and he displays the same isosceles passages Bird favored, yet tinged with a bit of soulfulness that the more famous altoist never quite had. In fact, Stitt handles tricky chord progressions so effortlessly that the token blues (one wittily titled "Original?") don't challenge him enough and come off sounding pat. The rhythm section does what good sidemen do: provide sturdy backing and play a respectable solo when given the opportunity.

Later on Stitt joined Prestige in a successful partnership as an artist who wanted to record every chance he got found a label that was eager to saturate the market with soul jazz. Before he headed down that road, though, he recorded this fine album.


Track Listing: 1. Easy To Love 2. Easy Living 3. Autumn In New York 4. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To 5. For Some Friends 6. I Never Knew 7. Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 8. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) 9. Original? 10. Avalon 11. Blues Greasy.

Personnel: Sonny Stitt - alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Bobby Timmons - piano; Edgar Willis - bass; Kenny Dennis - drums.

Title: Personal Appearance | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Scratches Of Spain" CD/LP/Track Review Scratches Of Spain
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.