The Record Collection

Sonny Criss: This is Criss! (1966)

Prestige P 7511

This is Criss!

Track list:

01 – Black Coffee
02 – Days of Wine and Roses
03 – When Sunny Gets Blue
04 – Greasy
05 – Sunrise, Sunset
06 – Steve’s Blues
07 – Skylark
+bonus track (not on original LP)
08 – Love For Sale


Sonny Criss – alto sax
Walter Davis – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Alan Dawson – drums

Recorded: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; October 21, 1966.

Producer: Don Schlitten
Recording Engineer: Rudy van Gelder

Liner notes: Ira Gitler

This is Criss! -notes (pdf 115KB)

Re-mastered, 2008, by: Rudy van Gelder
Re-issue Producer: Nick Phillips, Bob Porter

re-issue notes: Bob Porter

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.
~Stephen Cook