Sonny Side Up

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Sonny Side Up
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1959[1]
RecordedDecember 19, 1957
Nola Recording Studio, New York City
GenreJazz, bebop, hard bop
ProducerNorman Granz
Dizzy Gillespie chronology
Have Trumpet, Will Excite!
Sonny Side Up
The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie
Sonny Rollins chronology
Freedom Suite
Sonny Side Up
Newk's Time
Sonny Stitt chronology
Sonny Stitt Sits in with the Oscar Peterson Trio
Sonny Side Up
The Hard Swing
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[3]

Sonny Side Up is an album by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and the tenor saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins, recorded in December 1957 in New York City. It was released in 1959 on producer Norman Granz's newly launched Verve label.


As Thomas Cunniffe has written, "The pairing of Rollins and Stitt was highly inspired. More important than their common nicknames (and the punning album title), tenor saxophonists Rollins and Stitt were both influenced by Charlie Parker, but each took a vastly different approach to improvisation. Stitt transferred Parker's white-hot intensity to the tenor after several fans and critics pointed out the tonal similarity of their alto sounds. Rollins was a more thoughtful player who expanded the vocabulary of bop improvisation by incorporating thematic elements into his solos and by experimenting with different melodic shapes and unusual phrase lengths."[4]

Pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Tommy Bryant, and drummer Charlie Persip form the rhythm section.[2] Stephen Cook of AllMusic described the album as "one of the most exciting 'jam session' records in the jazz catalog. ...both a highly enjoyable jazz set and something of an approximation of the music's once-revered live cutting session".[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields) – 5:41
  2. "The Eternal Triangle" (Stitt) – 14:10
  3. "After Hours" (Avery Parrish) – 12:19
  4. "I Know That You Know" (Vincent Youmans, Anne Caldwell) – 5:27


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Burt Goldblatt – cover photography
  • Nat Hentoff – liner notes


  1. ^ Billboard, February 9, 1959.
  2. ^ a b c Stephen Cook, Sonny Side Up – AllMusic Review
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 533. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  4. ^ "Dizzy Gillespie:'Sonny Side Up' (Verve 314 521 426)/'Duets' (Verve 835 253)", Retro Reviews - Jazz History Online.