Personnel: Dorothy Ashby (harp); Winterton Garvey, Harris Goldman, Dorothy Wade, Carl LaMagna, Kenneth Yerke, Karen Jones , Marcia Van Dyke, Charles Veal, Jr., William Henderson , Arnold Belnick, Janice Gower, Haim Shtrum (violin); Paul Polivnick, Rollice Dale, David Campbell, Dennyse Buffum, Pamela Goldsmith (viola); Dennis Karmazyn, David H. Speltz, Ronald Cooper, Raymond J. Kelly (cello); Buddy Collette (flute, tenor saxophone); Bill Green (flute, bass saxophone); Ernest J. Watts (tenor saxophone); Bud Brisbois, Paul Hubinon, Charles Findley (trumpet, flugelhorn); Oscar Brashear (trumpet); Robert Watt, Barbara Korn, Alan Robinson , Vincent DeRosa (French horn); Garnett Brown, George Bohanon, Raymond Jackson (trombone); George Thatcher, Lew McCreary (bass trombone).
Audio Mixer: Barney Perkins.
Recording information: ABC Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (1977); Burbank, CA (1977); Los Angeles, CA (1977); Studio Masters (1977); The Burbank Studios, Burbank, CA (1977).
Photographers: Ken Marcus; Penny Wolin.
Arranger: Wade Marcus.
This two-fer CD combines the Sonny Criss 1976 album Warm and Sonny with Joy of Sax, released the following year. Originally these LPs were released separately on Impulse and are the last dates Criss released before passing away in 1977. Both albums find him playing with an electric rhythm section and the addition of strings and horns throughout. Most of the material is pleasant but forgettable, especially on the pop tunes of the era "The Way We Were," "You Are So Beautiful," "Don't You Worry Bout a Thing," and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." With the exception of a few tracks, and the addition of trumpeter Blue Mitchell and tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, these final albums aren't representative of Criss at his best. ~ Al Campbell