Sonny Criss

The Joy of Sax

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Altoist Sonny Criss' final album (he passed away in 1977) is disappointingly commercial. Not only is most of the material (which includes songs by Phil Spector, Stevie Wonder and Billy Preston among others) rather inferior but the electric rhythm section, strings and unnecessary horns inhibit much spontaneity. Criss, who sounds best on "Stolen Moments" (which also includes trumpeter Blue Mitchell) and his own "Midnight Mellow," was still in his musical prime so it is a pity that his career ended with this rather dated outing.

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