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Sonny Criss: Young Sonny (CD: Proper)Sonny Criss: Young Sonny (CD: Proper)
One of the disciples of Charlie Parker to emerge during the 1940s, Sonny Criss's early work with Teddy Edwards & Howard McGhee displayed a maturity way beyond his years. Later cuts for the Savoy label and others revealed him as a player of real note, crossing the divide between the bebop and R&B styles of the time. 12 tracks tell the story of the start of this great player's career up to 1952. (Proper Records) 


Price:  £6.99 


Sonny Criss: Four Classic Albums (CD: AVID, 2 CDs)
AVID Jazz continues its Four Classic album series with a re-mastered 2CD release by alto saxophonist, Sonny Criss, complete with original artwork and liner notes. "Jazz U.S.A"; "Plays Cole Porter"; "Go Man!" and "At The Crossroads"

Imagine, you're 15 years old living in Memphis, suddenly you move to L.A. and within 4 years you are playing alto sax in the Howard McGhee band with no less a jazz legend than Charlie Parker! Of course, Sonny was heavily influenced by "Bird" but that did not stop him from developing his own bluesy style of playing. It also did not stop him from drifting around the country playing in various R'n'B and jazz bands led by the likes of Johnny Otis, Stan Kenton and Billy Eckstine. Finally signed to R'n'B label Imperial in 1956, Sonny's first album (and our first selection) Jazz U.S.A was considered " a true underground classic of the hard bop era". Musicians joining Sonny on our four selections include, Kenny Drew, Barney Kessel, Sonny Clark, Leroy Vinnegar and Wynton Kelly. Not a bad line up! (AVID Entertainment) 


Price:  £8.99 

Sonny Criss: Four Classic Albums (CD: AVID, 2 CDs)


Sonny Criss: The Complete Imperial Sessions (CD: Phono, 2 CDs)Sonny Criss: The Complete Imperial Sessions (CD: Phono, 2 CDs)
Four complete LPs on a 2 CD set. All existing sessions recorded by alto sax player Sonny Criss for the Imperial label, an outfit oriented more towards R&B than jazz. These dates took place within a short period in 1956 (when Criss was working with Buddy Rich’s band) and were issued on three albums – the lineup included stars such as Barney Kessel, Kenny Drew, Sonny Clark and Larry Bunker. “Jazz USA” has been hailed as one of the true underground classics of the bebop era Completing the package is an album on the Peacock label: “At the Crossroads” with Wynton Kelly on piano. (Discovery Records) 


Price:  £17.99 


Sonny Criss: This Is Criss (CD: Prestige RVG)
In 1966 producer Don Schlitten imported Sonny Criss to New York for a recording session with a rhythm section handpicked for their ability to swing and for their understanding of the bebop methods that drove Criss. Determined to enhance the career of an alto saxophonist he considered an overlooked genius of the modern era, Schlitten thus provided the circumstance for one of Criss's great albums. To many listeners, This Is Criss! was a revelation; it presented a fully matured soloist who had overcome the uneven conception and time problems that many of them remembered from his brilliant but erratic earlier work. Highlights include the grit and emotional directness of his playing on the blues and his inventiveness on the beautiful and harmonically demanding "Skylark." (Fantasy, Inc.) 


Price:  £9.99 

Sonny Criss: This Is Criss (CD: Prestige RVG)


Sonny Criss: Portrait of Sonny Criss (CD: Prestige- US Import)Sonny Criss: Portrait of Sonny Criss (CD: Prestige- US Import)
Of Bird's children, the alto saxophonists who grew up in Charlie Parker's image, none had more passion than Sonny Criss. From his first major exposure in the late 1940s as a teenager with Howard McGhee and Billy Eckstine, through Jazz At The Philharmonic and the subsequent 25 years of his career, Criss was admired for his drive, his imagination, and the purity of his sound. Circumstances and his difficult nature conspired against Criss achieving the success and fame his abilities warranted. But it is plain in this recording from one of the happiest and most productive periods of his life, the mid-1960s, that his talent was enormous. Among the performances is a gorgeous version of "God Bless the Child." (Fantasy, Inc.) 


Price:  £14.99 


Sonny Criss: Saturday Morning (CD: Xanadu)
A memorable 1975 recording from a master alto player who was often overlooked during a long career. Includes one bonus track from the same session. 


Price:  £12.99 

Sonny Criss: Saturday Morning (CD: Xanadu)

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