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Sonny Criss: The Complete Imperial Sessions

Album Notes

THE COMPLETE IMPERIAL SESSIONS contains tracks recorded in 1956 that resulted in the albums JAZZ USA, GO MAN! and PLAYS COLE PORTER.

Personnel: Sonny Criss (alto saxophone); Larry Bunker (vibraphone); Sonny Clark, Kenny Drew (piano); Barney Kessell (guitar); Leroy Vinnegar, Bill Woodson, Buddy Clark (bass); Chuck Thompson, Lawrence Marable (drums).

Recorded in Los Angeles, California between January 26 and October 3, 1956. Originally released on Imperial (9006, 9020, 9024). Includes liner notes by Bob Porter.

Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Ron McMaster.

This is part of the Blue Note Records Limited Edition Connoisseur series.

This double disc reissue on Blue Note contains the three releases that alto saxophonist Sonny Criss did for Imperial: Jazz U.S.A., Go Man!, and Plays Cole Porter. These sessions were all recorded in 1956 at a time when Criss had honed his amazing bebop alto precision. These 34 performances contain only five of his originals and are surrounded by mainly standards. The bands consisted of solid lineups with Sonny Clark or Kenny Drew on piano; Barney Kessel on guitar; Leroy Vinnegar, Buddy Clark or Bill Woodson on bass; Larry Bunker on vibes; and Larance Marable or Chuck Thompson taking care of drumming duties. While Criss had a career that erratically spanned the '70s, these Imperial sessions (reissued in glorious mono) contained highly regarded performances of passionate blues, moving ballads, and energetic up-tempo pieces. ~ Al Campbell


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