By the time he recorded these sessions for Atlantic in 1963, saxophonist Sonny Stitt had become a complete freelancer, with no exclusivity in his booking or record company deals. This studio date was the first of the year, soon to be followed by sessions for Impulse!, Argo, Roost, and Prestige. A tribute to Charlie Parker, the album pairs guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Richard Davis with pianist John Lewis and drummer Connie Kay. Sonny Stitt died in 1982, with more than 100 albums to his credit. But few of them achieved the celebrity of Stitt Plays Bird. Although he did record three separate tributes to Duke Ellington and continue to play Charlie Parker tunes, he never revisited the Bird concept.