Sonny Criss

Sonny Criss and Kenny Dorham, Vol. 1: The Bopmasters

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Released as the first volume in Impulse's short-lived reissue program titled The Dedication Series, this two-LP set combines together a pair of unrelated sessions. Trumpeter Kenny Dorham leads his Jazz Prophets, a quintet in 1956 that also stars tenor-saxophonist J.R. Monterose and pianist Dick Katz. They ably perform four of Dorham's originals plus the ballad "Don't Explain." The Sonny Criss session from 1959 has trombonist Ole Hansen and pianist Wynton Kelly among the other soloists but Criss's alto dominates the set. The music by both groups is high-quality hard bop and these rare sides are worth getting. Pity that this valuable series quickly went out of print.

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