Sonny Criss (Hard Bop)

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Sonny Criss (Hard Bop)

Post by Musicgate on Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:06 am

Sonny Criss - Sonny's Dream (Birth of the New Cool) (1968) {1992, Remaster, Fantasy}

Жанр: Hard Bop
Дата записи: Los Angeles; May 8, 1968.
Дата выпуска: 1968
Digital remastering: 1991—Phil De Lancie (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley)
Дата переиздания: 1992, Remaster
Производитель диска, страна: Prestige Records, Tenth & Parker, Berkeley, CA 94710. © Fantasy, Inc.
OJCCD-707-2 (P-7576)
Printed in U.S.A.

Аудио кодек: FLAC
Тип рипа: (tracks + .cue)
Битрейт аудио: lossless
Включает: Full artwork
Продолжительность: 44:56
Источник: коллекция Л.Рендера
Риппер: Мой рип

Bonus tracks
7. THE GOLDEN PEARL 5:01 (previously unissued alternate)
8. SONNY'S DREAM 4:18 (previously unissued alternate)

Об исполнителе:

Крис Сонни

William ‘Sonny’ Criss
23.10.1923, Мемфис, шт. Теннесси —
19.11.1977, Лос-Анджелес

Альт-саксофонист, представитель второго поколения исполнителей бибопа.

В 1938 году приехал с родителями в Лос-Анджелес, дебютировал в группах ритм-энд-блюза, аккомпанировал вокалисту Джонни Отису. Во второй половине 40-х годов играл в оркестрах Хауарда МакГи, Билли Экстайна, Джеральда Уилсона, вошел в антрепризу Нормана Грэнца Jazz At The Philharmonic. В 1950–54 работал в студиях Лос-Анджелеса, сотрудничал со многими музыкантами Западного побережья. Почти год играл в биг-бэнде Стэна Кентона (пластинка Jazz Showcase,1955). Следующие два года выступал с собственной группой, в 1958–61 — в ансамбле с Бадди Ричем. В 1962–66 жил в Париже, играл с французскими и немецкими музыкантами, а вернувшись в США, записывал пластинки с Хэмптоном Хейвзом, Бобом Крэншоу, Конти Кандоли. Полом Чеймберсом, со струнными группами. Карьера Криса была неровной из-за увлечения алкоголем. В 70-е годы после полного выздоровления создал Общество по реабилитации больных алкоголизмом.

Об альбоме:

SONNY CRISS—alto and soprano saxes
DAVID SHERR—alto sax
PETE CHRISTLIEB—baritone sax
DICK NASH—trombone

Arranged and conducted by Horace Tapscott

Рейтинги и премии: - Rating 4.19 from 16 ratings

1992 CD Prestige/OJC OJCCD-707-2
CD Prestige/OJC 707
LP Prestige P-7576
LP Prestige 7576
2007 CD JVC Japan 41811

Notes: Ira Gitler (August 1968). Notes reproduced from the original album liner.

One of the more gratifying happenings in jazz during the past two years has been the resurgence of Sonny Criss, capped in 1968 by a win in the Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition section of the Down Beat International Critics Poll, and a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival which earned him several standing ovations. The ascent to what I like to consider the first plateau of his eventually greater popularity has been strongly fostered by the series of recordings for Prestige. They all have been in a small combo format with a repertoire drawn from songs—old standards and new pops—jazz originals and, of course, the blues.
Sonny's Dream places Criss in another setting, both musically and geographically. "The idea here," according to producer Don Schlitten, "was to present Sonny in a different way. Instead of 'songs', we used modal thematics material in a way that was both cushion and prod to him as a soloist."
The nine-piece band which supports Criss is a three-reed, three-brass, three-rhythm orchestra which began its life as a rehearsal unit at Grant's Music Center in the area of Los Angeles known as Watts. (There is a small rehearsal hall adjacent to the music store run by Henry Grant. It is always open to musicians who want to use its facilities, and many bands, professional and amateur take advantage of this). Criss organized the band in 1967. At that time it did not include a tuba but, otherwise, was identical in instrumentation to the orchestra on this recording. Rehearsals were held two or three times a week with the charts supplied by Vernon Slater and the writer of all the compositions in this album, Horace Tapscott. At that time, Tapscott was also playing piano in the ensemble. None of the selections in this album come from that time but Tapscott's This Is For Benny, which Criss recorded on his Up, Up and Away (PR 7530), comes from this period. The band played only one job, four days at the Club Tropicana in the fall of 1967. Sonny, doubling on soprano saxophone, as he does on record here for. the first time, played in front of the orchestra and with just the rhythm section in the course of each set.
Criss, born in Memphis, in 1927, came to Los Angeles in 1942. Tapscott, born in Houston in 1934, moved to LA in 1943. Both, at different times, studied with Samuel Browne, subject of a dedicatory piece in this album. Tapscott was started on piano by his mother at age four but later switched to trombone. He made his professional debut with Gerald Wilson's band in 1949. While in the Army Air Force (1953-57), Tapscott was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming. His serious interest in composition began there. As he puts it: "I had nothing but time."
In 1961-62 Tapscott worked with Lionel Hampton. It was his only time on the road with any band. Until 1962 he played trombone exclusively but illness forced him to give up that instrument and go back to the piano. His one re-
cording as a pianist is with the Freddie Hill-Lou Blackburn group on Imperial. Writing is his main concern, and he has compiled a book of compositions that numbers forty or more. They are written, essentially, for twenty-five pieces. Tapscott has his own rehearsal band at the Watts Happening Coffee House. In August 1968 several of his compositions were performed by the twenty-five piece orchestra plus chorus at the Watts Summer Festival.
From the time of its terrible riots much attention has been focused on Watts. Among other things, there has been an encouragement and flourishing of the arts. Flowers do glow in the desert, and they also push through concrete to rise like the symbolic Watts Tower itself. What began when Sonny Criss did something to involve himself musically, at a time when no one was calling him for gigs, record dates or anything, has become a reality with this recording. All of Sonny's prior Prestige albums were done in New York. This time it was Don Schlitten, rather than Criss, who got on the plane. The objective was LA in May, and Sonny's Dream.
The Sonny Criss Orchestra is made up of seasoned pros and talented newcomers. Several have been leaders on their own albums in the past. Here they contribute some luminous solos but, for the most part, everyone pulls their own weight in the ensemble as Criss soars on high.
David Sherr, the lead altoist takes care of the section parts, thereby freeing Sonny for an exclusively solo role. Prestige recording artist Teddy Edwards is in solid charge of the tenor sax chair. The baritone saxophonist is Pete Christlieb, a young man who has been making a name for himself on tenor saxophone in West Coast music circles and with Louis Bellson's band.
The brass begins with Conte Candoli, former star of the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton bands, whose trumpet has graced the Shelly Manne group for a number of years. Trombonist Dick Nash (his brother Ted was the featured tenorman with Les Brown's band in the 40's) is one of the most able trombonists in jazz. Here he performs strictly in a section role but he happens to be a fine soloist "too. For tubaist Ray Draper (a regular member of the rehearsal band) this is a return to the label for which he made two albums as a leader in the 50's. In the 60's he left his native New York City and has been active in the LA area since.
One of the very best pianists in jazz is Tommy Flanagan and New York's loss has been LA's gain, whether sunny California is aware of it or not. In addition to his solo ability, he is an exceptionally well-equipped accompanist. Bassist Al McKibbon was a bulwark in Dizzy Gillespie's big band of the late 40's, and also was an important cog with both George Shearing and Cal Tjader in the 50's. Everett Brown Jr. has been the nonet's regular drummer during its rehearsal life. Placed amongst the veterans, he conducts himself with aplomb and fire.
The title number, Sonny's Dream, opens the album in minor-keyed, fast waltz-time. Written by Tapscott especially for Criss, it represents, in a way, the composer's appreciation for the chance to be heard. Sonny has his "cry" going and also exhibits his great strength. Flanagan follows with a flowing solo that is a model of intelligence and swing. Then Criss cuts loose against a vamp figure with his combination of facility and emotion. There are some effective growls from his alto in this extended closing section.
The mournful Ballad For Samuel, a slower waltz, is a vehicle for Sonny's soprano. Samuel is Samuel Browne, a former music teacher at Jefferson High School, mentioned earlier as a mentor of Criss and Tapscott. According to Sonny, Browne was instrumental, along with Lloyd Reese, in helping every black jazzman to come out of Los Angeles in the last twenty-five years. (Among the others were Dexter Gordon, Don Cherry, Ed Thigpen and Art Farmer.) Browne tutored them in school, and then directed them to Reese, a cousin of the late Eric Dolphy. Browne is still active in teaching but is no longer at Jefferon. Tapscott's piece is the first real public recognition of him by his former pupils.
The theme is carried by Criss and underlined by baritone and muted trumpet. Sonny's flights contain some Tranish figures intermixed with his own vocabulary. As always, he is in complete command of his material. At 4:18 this is the shortest track in the album and Criss makes it a gem, demonstrating that you don't need all day to make a meaningful statement.
The Black Apostles (originally titled Black Arthur for an LA saxophonist of the same name) is for Malcolm, Med-gar and Martin. Its theme is dark and brooding, with the power generated by the emerged new self image of the black man. Criss is back on alto for an impassioned solo. Then Teddy Edwards, who helped pioneer modern jazz In California in the 40's, shows that he is playing better than ever today, as he winds and weaves through a solo in which you can almost see the smoke escaping from the bell of his tenor.
The mood changes as side В opens with The Golden Pearl, a song that Tapscott has worked and reworked for several years. It is a tribute to his ninety-year-old grandmother who still lives in LA. Tapscott says she taught him black history and offered him much encouragement over the years. The opening has a Dameronian colorataion, somewhat reminiscent of Tadd's Fontainebleau and Neal Hefti's Repetition. Dirge-like chords alternate with optimistic chords as Criss' alto melds with the section, at times, in stating the melody. Then Sonny starts driving as the tempo accelerates, giving way to Flanagan's firm, punching lines. The original tempo returns as the theme is restated.
Another in Tapscott's gallery of honoring portraits is Arizona Lewis, an Apache woman who helped raise him in Houston, and later lived next door to his family in LA. Daughter of Cochise is begun with an American Indian motif by the rhythm section, whereupon Criss enters, loping lazily along the canyon trail past sagebrush and mescal. His improvised section really conjures up the open space, open sky and arid plains of the Southwest.
Sandy and Niles is named for Tapscott's six-year-old son Niles, and Niles' five-year-old playmate Sandy, the daughter of a neighbor. It has some of the air of children's playfulness about it and also a general feeling of hope. Sonny's alto is straight-ahead, strong and true, as the rhythm section cooks behind him. Candoli's lonely, haunted sound reflects one of his favorites, Miles Davis, in his solo. Dig Sonny' trill at the number's climax.
Sonny Criss is without doubt one of the genuinely exciting instrumentalists in American music today. Horace Tapscott, in providing the framework which stimulated Criss in such a positive manner, serves notice that he is a man to be reckoned with.
The album is subtitled Birth of the New Cool in reference to the similarity of instrumentation with the Miles Davis band of the late 40's. But this band is like dry ice. The "new cool" is hot![/spoiler]


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