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Stitt Plays Bird Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rhino/Wea UK
  • ASIN: B0000C24JY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,512 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
With the domestic version of "Stitt Plays Bird" currently out-of-print, it is nice to see that an import version is available. Along with "Sonny Side Up," "Salt and Pepper" and "With The Oscar Peterson Trio," this is Sonny Stitt's finest recording. "Plays Bird" finds Stitt playing with the stellar band of Jim Hall on guitar, John Lewis on piano, Richard Davis on bass, and Connie Kay on drums. While all these musicians are in top form, it is Hall's interplay with Stitt that truly distinguishes this CD. The album's best Parker renditions are "Confirmation," "Scrapple From The Apple" and "Ornithology." Additonally, the disc features two bonus selections, "Now's The Time" and "Yardbird Suite," not included on the original record. One last thing, when you buy this make sure you don't mistake it with "Coltrane's Sound" as they have remarkably similar cover paintings by artist Marvin Israel.
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By Sparky on February 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Frankly, for an artist who was considered derivative of Bird, this was a bold statement. Sonny's work on "Stitt Plays Bird" is every bit as virtuosic as Charlie Parker himself. The playing on Constellation (my favorite track) is outrageously fast and inventive--so fast and furious that there are times when the tone splits and goes off into oblivion, but the listener doesn't care because Sonny has already started a new line. This may be the most energizing CD of all time. Every chart on this album, including the previously unreleased charts, are strong. So strong in fact, that it caused me to lament the fact that I did not take Stitt seriously enough when he was alive. He was every bit as talented as Adderly or Parker. This album should be one of a treasury of Sonny Stitt CDs in your library.
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Format: Audio CD
An all around great session from 1963. This is a straight-ahead no nonsense date and one his best alto recordings - he has many. He was truly one the great saxophonist in modern jazz history. No pick-up band for Sonny on this one. Alto-Tenor, take your pick, he excelled at both.
You have a stellar rhythm section with great tunes plus prime JIM HALL. What more do you need? Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sonny Stitt always said he was his own man and not merely a Charlie Parker soundalike. Strangely, he proves this point in the finest tribute album to Bird I have ever heard. This is consummate playing of Parker's best-known compositions with an all-star cast on rhythm section: John Lewis, piano; Jim Hall, guitar; Richard Davis, bass, and Connie Kay, drums. Stitt plays with ferocious virtuosity, setting fire after fire. Take "Ko-Ko," for instance--the 1945 record that I think is one of the greatest feats of invention and stamina in jazz history. Stitt takes the baton from Bird and equals his performance. This is a must-have jazz album. And, as usual, the Japanese have done a superb job on this 2012 reissue. Buy it. Bird, bop, and Sonny live!
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Format: Audio CD
Between my 20th and 40th birthdays, I was privileged to catch Sonny "live" more frequently than any other musician. He could be extraordinarily exciting, even exhilarating to listen to--exceeding anything I've heard by Bird on record--and on occasion he could be disappointing, even "boring." But he was never less than masterful--on alto or tenor (Sonny's tone was so consistent that the two instruments sounded like a continuum, making it difficult on some recordings to identify which of the horns he was playing.)

Although I tend to agree with those reviewers who claim that his playing on this recording is not up to the level--rhythmically or harmonically--of Charlie Parker's, I know Stitt well enough to be aware of some extenuating circumstances. Although John Lewis' plays masterfully on "Stitt Plays Bird" (listen to his seamlessly connected chordal voicings behind Stitt on "Ko-Ko"!), Sonny preferred the accompaniment of the Bud-influenced Barry Harris. Moreover, the percussion work of Connie Kay--tailored to the sound of Lewis' MJQ--was too restrained, too "vertical," too plain "unswinging," for Sonny's tastes (the rhythm section on this occasion was supplied by Verve's jazz impressario Norman Granz). Even on this dubious "remastered" version (which pumps up the bass, but frequently leaves Kay's hi-hat inaudible, making a listener question if it was seeing much use on the up-tempo "Ko-Ko").

Finally, it must be remembered that Bird was characteristically allowed a single chorus on his 78 rpm recordings--on Dial and Savoy. And from the numerous takes, he could select the best. By contrast, Stitt has the LP and "enough rope to hang himself.
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