This date from 1978, originally titled Deep Roots when initially released in Japan… has a fine foil in pianist Sadik Hakim, who recorded with Charlie Parker on some of his early-40s Savoy titles… dying in 1983.
Stitt wields both alto and tenor with breathtaking virtuosity while Hakim puts his personal stamp on each piece, soloing and comping with flair in a style rooted in Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk yet displaying harmonic originality. Both players are supremely lyrical on the ballads… and swing intensely on the standards.
Four alternate takes heard for the first time show that the soloists were at no loss for new ideas on each of the pieces; they rival (and perhaps even surpass) the originally-issued ones. Recorded pristinely, this disc is a must for all beboppers and all jazz fans in general.
Russ Musto — The New York City Jazz Record