Pow!, Stitt, Dim Them Blue Lights!


I miss him too, Charlie Brown.  Dig the amazing melody below, just one of a thousand Sonny Stitt churned out daily like butter.


That’s a paraphrased snippet of Sonny Stitt’s solo on “Blue Lights,” from his 1967 Prestige release “Pow!”

Note how he effortlessly weaves a simple diminished scale into a labyrinthine web most complex, elegant, beautiful, and swinging.

After immersing myself in 20 CDs of Sonny Stitt recordings for several months, i can confidently affirm:  “No, Stitt ain’t no Bird clone.”  Actually, truth be told, thousands of us players would rejoice at being thought of as “Bird clones.”   Referring to the brilliant Charlie Parker, legend quotes Stitt as responding to this accusation:  “OK, let’s hear you  copy Bird!”


No man, Stitt is his own cat;  Actually he’s two amazing cats, one on alto, one on tenor, with a smattering of brilliant bari work thrown in for good measure.

Below is a chart and a recording of that paraphrased Sonny Stitt lick in all 12 keys, in case you want to further develop your diminished scale chops.

By the way, if you want to totally transform your approach to improv, download “New Ears Resolution.”

blue-lights-stitt-bars-5-to-7blue-lights-stitt-bars-5-to-7-page-2My sincere thanks to Charles McNeal for compiling, editing, and making available the Keith Oxman Sonny Stitt Transcriptions.

3 thoughts on “Pow!, Stitt, Dim Them Blue Lights!

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