J.J. Johnson, along with Bennie Green, was a founding father of bop trombone; Willie Dennis's promising career was cut short by an early death; "Jay and Kai" had successfully collaborated on several projects in the Fifties. But the unique and legendary meeting of these trombone giants, which first appeared on the Debut label and is reissued here, was unprecedented in jazz. Almost as remarkable is the rhythm section on this CD, with John Lewis making a rare appearance outside the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Kai Chresten Winding (May 18, 1922–May 6, 1983) was a popular Danish born American trombonist and jazz composer. He is well known for a successful collaboration with fellow trombonist J. J. Johnson.
Under the watchful eye of famed producer Michael Cuscuna, this nine-CD set serves as a compilation of Stitt's 1950s and 1960s Roost LPs. This release also features a 28-page booklet consisting of comprehensively annotated liners. Moreover, the record label does its best to convey the artistic element via a series of black-and-white photos of Stitt and his sidemen amid anecdotes by many of the late saxophonist's affiliates. Interestingly enough, seven of the original LPs did not list personnel. In some instances, guesses were made, although most of these tracks are well-documented, thanks to the producer's diligence and painstaking research. Artists such as drummer Roy Haynes, bassist/composer Charles Mingus, and pianist Harold Maber represent but a few of Stitt's accompanists.