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Artist: Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt  Album: Sonny Side Up
 

Artist: Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt Album: Sonny Side Up

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Tracks

1. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
2. The Eternal Triangle
3. After Hours
4. I Know That You Know

Amazon.com
Dizzy Gillespie's long, fruitful career is peppered with a number of high-profile summit meetings with a variety of jazz royals, and this 1957 date ranks with the best of them. Gillespie facilitated this battle between tenor titans Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins and even, according to legend, stoked their competitive fires with well-timed phone calls prior to the session. The good-natured opener "On the Sunny Side of the Street," complete with a lighthearted Dizzy vocal turn, doesn't even hint at the serious business to follow it. "The Eternal Triangle" is a quintessential bop fracas filled with inspired, white-hot improvisation. Rollins and Stitt exchange mighty blows, in solos and in trades, and Gillespie's trumpet work is no mere afterthought, bristling as it does with creativity and authority. The ensemble catches their collective breath with "After Hours," a tasty slow blues introduced by Ray Bryant's mood-setting piano, before they unleash a ripping reading of the chestnut "I Know That You Know." You get the sense that the more artful (and "jazz's new thing") Rollins was dragged into a real street fight by the fiery Stitt, who was unbeatable on his own blistering bop turf, but each man--Gillespie included--rises to the occasion in spirited fashion. --Marc Greilsamer
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