Sonny Stitt - Satan - Used
Side One isn't exactly what I expected when I cast my eyes on this album. It features plenty of variety and fine playing, but the cover had me figuring mean nasty groove and that's not what I was getting. The title track is a version of the 1973 original by John Lucien (Virgin Islands), features a breezy island feel that won't come as a surprise if you know the original but comes as a surprise if you enter by way of the sleeve. The moody "A Crazy Mixed Up World" starts to explore the darker side of the human equation, and "Big Bad Henry" gets down to it, but has a playful quality to it. The side closes with a duet with bassist Ron Carter.
The flipside opens with a version of Goffin-King's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (of course originally done by the Shirelles). Since this was a version of a pop song and featured strings, I figured a breezy affair, but while it starts out with what we heard on the title track, the band ends up cutting out a groove into this number, and seems to add some new meaning to the question asked, revealing that the original was perhaps more universal and prophetic than intended. The changes that had gone down in the 13 years between 1961 and 1974 were remarkable, and while this song is simply a song of the relationship between two people, the tones explored on this version seems to both recall and yearn for the intent of the original while bringing the question into the troubling times of the 1974, a time when one knew the answer to the question: there will be no love tomorrow. But one can still hold on and keep vigil on the evil flying out of Pandora's box.
If jazz is your bag, the side ends strong (or at least I think it does, but since jazz really ain't my thing, who am I say) the band getting down to it on "Anone," one of three originals by Roland Hanna (electric piano), and concludes in the same manner as the first side, with the bass/sax duet version of a standard.
While this set is only for fans of jazz, if you dig the groove, this has moments that will likely have you nodding in agreement.
-- winch (green noise records)