Sonny Stitt

Latest Release

Artist Playlists

About Sonny Stitt

One of jazz’s great stage duelists, high-speed bop saxophonist Sonny Stitt swung hard in Charlie Parker’s style as an alto player before developing on tenor a warmer identity all his own. Born Edward Hammond Boatner Jr. in Boston in 1924, he was adopted by the Stitt family of Saginaw, MI, a year later. He played in a local swing band while attending high school and by age 17 hit the road professionally, rarely leaving it his entire life. Hired as a Parker substitute by Dizzy Gillespie in 1949, he teamed up with Gene Ammons the following year in a group famed for thrilling tenor-sax battles. Stitt recorded more than 100 albums as bandleader, beginning with Stitt’s Bits in 1950. Other highlights include 1957’s Sonny Side Up (with Gillespie and Sonny Rollins), 1966’s Soul People (with Booker Ervin), and the soaring, swooping 1972 career peak Tune-Up! He recorded his final sessions only weeks before his death in 1982.

Boston, MA, United States
February 2, 1924
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada