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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was looking at some Stitt on youtube after checking out another thread and came across this group with Stitt, JJ Johnson and Howard McGhee playing 'Now's the time'. Check out McGhee's solo - about midway through the band start modulating the key up in half-steps until they get back to the original. (I think he starts on a fifth up). I thought this was a pretty unusual approach to playing the blues - anyone heard this before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xWjYMGI3DM
 

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Bit disappointed by JJ as an ex trombonist. Not the same fluid tone and development as usual, maybe poor recording.
Rest? Great.
 

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What I thought was amusing was Johnson taking a second solo before Sitt took his first. Watch Stitt get Johnson's attention and look at his watch. Johnson then quits without warning at the end of the chorus and Stitt picks up a couple of bars later. Takes his horn out of his mouth after one phrase and glares at Johnson who is laughing at him. Almost immediately McGhee acts like he is ready to play again. Stitt says something and points to the bell of his horn while McGhee is laughing at him.
 

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That poor sax player... All those brasswinds!
 

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old git said:
Bit disappointed by JJ as an ex trombonist. Not the same fluid tone and development as usual, maybe poor recording.
Rest? Great.
Really, I think it's just the recording. They all three sound "tinny". Got to be the big "boomy" room/old mics and old tape........would've probably gotten a better recorded sound if they had all steppped closer to the mics, but players just didn't do that then, they wanted to hear the room in the recording.....
 

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I've had this Jazz 625 recording for 20 years or so-it was pretty much my main source of vocabulary. I love every note of that concert and can pretty much sing it all. Walter Bishop sounds incredible, hitting off beats with his left hand and Sonny, at the height of his powers, threads perfect lines.
Personally, I love J.J. on this-the essence of relaxed swing and a great band leader.
There's a great bit where Sonny stops playing and definitely mouths "F..k Off" to Howard McGhee (they bicker all the way through the show).
Sonny was drunk and there's a hilarious interview with the British presenter Steve Race to whom Sonny admits "somebody found me a scotch.."

Jamie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jamie - it would be great to see the whole thing.
Know where I can find it?
 

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saxjd said:
What I thought was amusing was Johnson taking a second solo before Sitt took his first. Watch Stitt get Johnson's attention and look at his watch. Johnson then quits without warning at the end of the chorus and Stitt picks up a couple of bars later. Takes his horn out of his mouth after one phrase and glares at Johnson who is laughing at him. Almost immediately McGhee acts like he is ready to play again. Stitt says something and points to the bell of his horn while McGhee is laughing at him.
Looked to me like J.J. thought it was time to start trading with the drums (perhaps forgetting that Stitt hadn't played yet; easy to do after the bass solo). Even the camera director switches to a shot of the drummer at the end of J.J.'s chorus. Then the fun begins. :D

Seems like Stitt kind of loses his enthusiasm (focus?) for his solo after a few choruses, then rallies for the end.

Great clip!
 

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Not only great playing but as others have said, maybe the best thing about the clip is how it shows the social aspect of jazz very clearly! Classy is a relative term in jazz :D
 

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It came from the iconic series "Jazz 625" which the BBC releases on DVD every so often while missing out various episodes. It was filmed just up the road from me in Golders Green, NW London.

I don't think Sonny had a better period than this and the film shows him playing at a level as good as anyone has ever played the alto. He was a big influence in the UK at the time with his "have alto, will travel" attitude. Peter King, Tubby Hayes and other UK players were all hugely influenced by him.

Sonny's lines here are played so well that each solo is worthy of years of transcription and assimilation-bloody beautiful.

Jamie
 

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I was listening to 'Sonny Stitt plays Bird' Just then, when I clicked the youtube link, it was 'Now's the Time' I paused to listen. I love it when stuff like that happens.
 
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