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Dating from 1963, Mr Blues Pour Flirter
contains around three-quarters of the music recorded in Paris by Sonny Criss, one of the most unusual of post-Charlie Parker alto players. Rhythmically and tonally Criss owed more to Parker's predecessors, Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges, but harmonically he did absorb some of Parker's more complex thinking. His tone, unique and instantly recognisable, was especially effective on ballads and blues and his initial impact in France derived from his contributions to a series generally titled "Blues Pour Flirter"--hence the title of this release. Georges Arvanitas, on organ as well as piano, provides the main support with guitarist Rene Thomas heard from occasionally. The repertoire consists mainly of standards, ranging from "St Louis Blues" to "On Green Dolphin Street", and Criss's committed improvisations are well captured by the clear recording. His three years in Paris were probably among the happiest of his rather troubled life and that can be sensed in this music. --Graham Colombé