Half Notes: Dizzy Gillespie/Sonny Stitt – Duets (1958)

An underappreciated Dizzy Gillespie record on Verve, includes some s-s-smokin’ thoughts of “Con Alma” — two, in fact.

Produced by Norman Granz, this new “Con Alma” lets you pull apart that Latin jazz masterpiece. The solos are, of course, different — but the pace is more relaxed, too. And Sonny Stitt, the Charlie Parker disciple, plays it long and cool.

There was more, it turns out: When Phil Schapp remastered “Duets” in 1988, they found a new tune (called it “Anythin’,” after an off-hand comment by Diz on the the session) that includes Stitt’s only alto work on the session.

A swinging highlight.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.