Gambit Records has issued a stunner here, placing two of Sonny Stitt
's greatest recordings -- both from 1972, a terrific year for the saxophonist -- on one disc for nearly 80 minutes of jazz greatness. Stitt
fronted a band that included pianist Barry Harris
and bassist Sam Jones
on both dates, and drummers Alan Dawson
(tracks 1-7) and Roy Brooks
(cuts 8-15). Tune-Up!
was recorded in February of 1972 and offers killer renditions of the title track, "Groovin' High," and a long, nine-and-a-half-minute reading of "I Got Rhythm," on which he burns on both alto and tenor. The second date, recorded in June, is terrific in that Harris
are both Detroiters who played together often in their careers, and are very familiar with one another's styles. This is especially true on the ballads such as "A Ghost of a Chance," where their sense of stretching time is so evident. "Casbah," with Stitt
on tenor, is phenomenal, mostly because of his muscular lyricism and Brooks
' deeply swinging approach. The other truly outstanding cut here is Bud Powell
's "Webb City." This is a two-fer worth its weight in gold.