This two-fer CD combines the Sonny Criss
1976 album Warm and Sonny
with Joy of Sax
, released the following year. Originally these LPs were released separately on Impulse and are the last dates Criss
released before passing away in 1977. Both albums find him playing with an electric rhythm section and the addition of strings and horns throughout. Most of the material is pleasant but forgettable, especially on the pop tunes of the era “The Way We Were,” “You Are So Beautiful,” “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing,” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” With the exception of a few tracks, and the addition of trumpeter Blue Mitchell
and tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts
, these final albums aren't representative of Criss
at his best.