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Talking Sonny Criss

Hey folks,

I recently picked up a copy of Sonny Criss' _The Complete Imperial Sessions_. This guy is unbelievable! I've never heard such a complete combination of bebop and blues--sort of like Eddie Vinson meets Sonny Stitt. Anybody into Sonny Criss?



Artist in residence
Distinguished Member
Count me in as a great fan of Sonny Criss. One of the most lyrical and melodic of all saxophonist.

As far as observations go, I have a couple.....

Right now, I'm working up a tune to play on my gigs, Rod McKuen's "Love's Been Good to Me." I'm inspired to play this tune because it's a beautiful melody and story, in my opinion, and also from hearing Sonny play another Rod McKuen tune, "I'll Catch the Sun." Sonny Criss recorded this near the end of the '60's, and the lilting, lyrical melody fit the sound and style of Sonny's alto perfectly. "Love's Been Good" seems to have that same relationship to the alto saxophone, so I'm going for it. Thanks, Sonny.

My other observation has to do with a comment made to the video posted by Ed. Someone posts (good naturedly) that Sonny is a "Charlie Parker impersonator." This may be true to a certain extent, but if you've ever heard the recordings of Bird sitting in on Sonny's gig after hours in Inglewood, Ca, Bird is playing just like Sonny on that night! I've heard it, and it's really revealing of Bird's admiration of Sonny Criss. Bird solos after Sonny and forms his phrases and tone exactly in Sonny's style. It's amazing to hear.

Time to go rehearse......

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