Early 70s magic from Sonny Stitt – two albums recorded in 1972 for the Cobblestone label! First up is Tune Up – a great one from Stitt's post-Prestige years, and a real back-to-basics effort that recalls the genius of his work on Roost! The format is straight and simple – Stitt's tenor and alto fronting a quartet that includes Barry Harris, Sam Jones, and Alan Dawson – all playing in a way that puts Sonny in command on all tracks, blowing with an amazing tone that makes us want to throw away all his funk, organ, and electric outings, and just concentrate on these straight acoustic sides. Stitt has a way of blowing the reed like he's got his whole mouth moving into the sax – an earthy, human, and personal feel that first came out strongly in his work during the late 50s, but which has grown even more by this point – even if you couldn't hear the development on other sets. And given our love of funk and electric sides, we're honestly surprised we find ourselves champion
ing a record like this from the early 70s – but it's a great one, and not to be missed if you remotely dig Stitt! Titles include "Tune Up", "Idaho", "Just Friends", "Groovin High", and "Blues For Prez & Bird". Constellation is all bop and all soul all the way through, and recorded with a tight quartet that features Barry Harris on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Roy Brooks on drums! The style's a bit like Sonny's work of the late 50s, but there's also a fluidity to the rhythm section that makes it a bit different too – a sound that's warm, open, and soulful – creating a space into which Stitt settles nicely and blows like mad. There's no gimmicks at all, just solid classic jazz skills – and titles include "Casbah", "Constellation", "By Accident", "Webb City", and "Topsy".
(Out of print.)