Sonny Stitt & Sal Salvador: Loose Walk
Jazz On A Summer's Day (original soundtrack) (Snapper/Charly 191)
Gildo Mahones (piano), Martin Rivera (bass), Louis Hayes (drums).
Composed by Sonny Stitt.
Recorded: live at Newport Jazz Festival, RI, July 6, 1958
Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
"Loose Walk" begins with Sonny Stitt in mid-solo. No, the musicians did not forget the opening. Filmmaker Bert Stern left it on the cutting-room floor for his documentary of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960). And since this is the Original Soundtrack, that's all we get. It's a shame because, judging from his extant three choruses, Stitt was hotter than the noonday sun.
Guitarist Sal Salvador fared better than his co-star. Sal's 8-chorus solo is intact. (Assuming that the two frontline players took solos of equal length, which is usually the case during such loosely organized jams, that means nearly two-thirds of Stitt's solo is missing.) Except for his 1952-53 stint with Stan Kenton's New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm, Salvador maintained a low profile throughout a career that spanned five decades, spent mostly in New England. But, as he shows here, Sal was a fine technician who could execute single-note lines with grace and imagination.
The headóheard only at track's endówas previously recorded by Clifford Brown & Max Roach as "The Blues Walk" (1955). According to Verve's 2000 reissue thereof, the tune originated with altoist Chris Woods, who recorded it in 1952; issued years later, it was wryly titled "Somebody Done Stole My Blues." In honor of Sonny Stitt, perhaps this track should also be retitled: "Somebody Done Stole My Solo."
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz