Sonny Criss: Sonny's Dream
The Sonny Criss Orchestra
Sonny's Dream (Birth of the New Cool) (Prestige/OJC: OJCCD-7072)
Conte Candoli (trumpet), Dick Nash (trombone), Ray Draper (tuba), David Sherr (alto sax), Teddy Edwards (tenor sax), Pete Christlieb (baritone sax), Al McKibbon (bass), Everett Brown, Jr. (drums).
Composed, arranged and conducted by Horace Tapscott.
Recorded: Los Angeles, May 8, 1968
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
A fast minor waltz has Sonny wailing from the first notes of his solo, as Tapscott's tune and arrangement inspire him to an emotional high. The suave Flanagan cools it down a bit before the band reignites Criss to an even greater frenzy, which includes some uncharacteristic growls. Criss's impressive late-'60s Prestige recordings jumpstarted his career, and the unique "Sonny's Dream" was perhaps the best of them. (The CD reissue includes an alternate take of this track.) The mature Criss could hold his own with any other bop-influenced altoist of his day, and his tragic death in 1977 at age 50 was a great loss.
Reviewer: Scott Albin