Sonny Criss – This Is Criss! (1966)

Sonny Criss - This Is Criss! (1966)
Artist: Sonny Criss
Album: This Is Criss!
Genre: Bop
Origin: USA
Released: 1966/2014
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Black Coffee (7:52)
Days Of Wine And Roses (3:21)
When Sunny Gets Blue (5:42)
Greasy (2:28)
Sunrise Sunset (2:52)
Steve’s Blues (6:23)
Skylark (5:11)
Love For Sale (6:25)


Along with tenor saxophonist Harold Land, altoist Sonny Criss qualifies as one of the most overlooked giants of West Coast jazz. His sound — like most alto players of the bebop and hard bop days — was heavily influenced by Charlie Parker, but Criss still managed to forge an original style featuring a very original melodic bent with loads of bluesy underpinnings. The goods can be optimally previewed on this great Prestige date from 1966. Backed by a trio consisting of pianist Walter Davis, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Alan Dawson, Criss makes fine work of such rare-bird covers as “Sunrise, Sunset” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.” There are also some fine originals here, including Criss’ own “Steve’s Blues” and Davis’ classic “Greasy.” A perfect start to your Criss collection.
Review by Stephen Cook