by Nic Jones
There have sometimes been itinerant qualities to the jazz musician's life, not only in terms of where they've lived, but also where and when they recorded. Sonny Criss spent the best part of his life in Los Angeles, and the sad fact is that the devotion he showed not only to the city and its people but also to his music brought him little reward, a fact only compounded by what posthumous acclaim he has been afforded.
The albums he ...read more
by C. Andrew Hovan
Had alto saxophonist Sonny Criss spent most of the time on the East Coast instead of settling in Los Angeles, he might have become more of a household name. In fact, it wasn’t until he made a series of sides for Prestige in the late ‘60s that he obtained even a modicum of the recognition due him, particularly through the magnificent Sonny’s Dream album. Unfortunately, by the end of the ‘70s he had met his untimely death at the age ...read more
by AAJ Staff
The tapes were on a high shelf in an old storeroom, so lost that their labels were barely legible. Producer Eric Miller stumbled upon them while putting other tapes back; the faint scrawling ("JATP/SHRINE/1951") piquing his interest. With the personnel unlisted, there was nothing to do but listen.
As soon as I heard the alto, I stopped. It took my breath away...It was his show. You could hear the crowd swell, and then you could hear him react to the ...read more
by Jim Santella
Alto saxophonist Sonny Criss was at his prime when he made this recording for Muse Records in 1975. Recently reissued by 32 Jazz, the session is just over a half hour long, but offers a rare opportunity to appreciate Criss's pure expressive sound, along with that of pianist Dolo Coker, guitarist Ray Crawford, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Jimmie Smith. In the liner notes, Bob Porter refers to Criss's sound as a strange ghetto mixture of machismo and vulnerability."
Horace ...read more