Personnel: Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet); Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Sonny Stitt (alto & tenor saxophones); Ray Bryant (piano); Tommy Bryant (bass); Charlie Persip (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Nola Studios, New York, New York on December 11, 1957. Includes liner notes by Phil Schapp.
Digitally remastered by Dennis Drake (Polygram Studios).
DUETS and its sister session SONNY SIDE UP are two of the best Dizzy Gillespie small group sessions. DUETS, featuring Gillespie's cooking '50s rhythm section with Ray Bryant on piano, moves easily from race horse tempos to after hours blues. Tenor innovator Sonny Rollins demonstrates his command of both approaches on the boppish "Wheatleigh Hall" and the smoky "Sumphin'."
Saxophonist Sonny Stitt, was more in the bebop mainstream than the younger Rollins, and his cutting, Parker-influenced blowing envlivens Gillespie's classic Latin line "Con Alma," the Afro-Cuban tinged blues "Haute Mon'" and the down and dirty "Anythin'." Gillespie is in peak form, moving easily from graceful lyrical lines to down home bluesiness and vivid upper register shouts.
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