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Spotlight on Jazz-The Late Great Sonny Criss

February 4, 2011

William Criss was born in Memphis, Tennessee and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 15. He then went on to play in various bands including Howard McGhee’s, which also featured Charlie Parker.
Criss had developed his own, concise, bluesy tone by this point, and though his basic style did not vary much, his ability on the instrument continued to develop. Nevertheless, he continued to drift from band to band, and played on some records with Johnny Otis, and Billy Eckstine.
His first major break came in 1947, on a number of jam sessions arranged by jazz impresario Norman Granz. In 1956 he signed to Imperial Records, based in New York, and recorded a series of “underground” classics namely, Jazz in U.S.A , Go Man and Sonny Criss Plays Cole Porter featuring pianist Sonny Clark. Capitol, the masters’ owners, reissued them as a 2CD set on their Blue Note imprint in October, 2000. Criss also recorded At the Crossroads, with Kind of Blue pianist Wynton Kelly.
Prestige signed him in 1965, and he continued to record well-acclaimed albums which were mainly rooted in hard bop traditions. The records produced during this period demonstrated his inventive play on the alto sax, and contributed to his growing national recognition. Although some of these albums marketed Criss as a survivor, Sonny’s Dream was more substantial, featuring charts by Horace Tapscott. Later sessions were recorded for Muse and Impulse. This is Sonny with Saturday Morning

One Comment leave one →
  1. notitiae permalink
    February 7, 2011 3:36 pm

    Nice graphics… Great ! Wonderfull post, greetings for the blog too, by NotitiAe.
    We suggest our link, photoes and video at: Gabin

    Simona Molinari international star at:

    Good reading… in Italian but musica is internationale… No?

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