Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
This welcome collection pairs two late-1950s sessions that sat in the Blue Note vaults for decades after they were recorded. It offers a variety of gifts for the Sonny Clark fan. First, there is the matter sidemen. The Mar... more »
This welcome collection pairs two late-1950s sessions that sat in the Blue Note vaults for decades after they were recorded. It offers a variety of gifts for the Sonny Clark fan. First, there is the matter sidemen. The March 1959 session that spawned the first six tunes boasts the presence of tenor Hank Mobley and drummer Art Blakey, both found in inspired form here. Mobley is bright throughout, playing with a bit more fire than usual while producing tender and moving work on the ballad title track. Blakey, meanwhile, is an animal (listen to his fury on "Minor Meeting"), goading and prodding and steering from the background. The final three songs, from December of 1957, include guitarist Kenny Burrell, tenor Clifford Jordan and drummer Pete LaRoca. Of course, Clark is the unifying theme. His compositions are crafty enough to keep things interesting but simple enough to allow assured, fluid improvisation. His piano work shows equal parts grace and grit, delicacy and drive, and his support of the other soloists is consistently interesting and lively. --Marc Greilsamer
Yeah! More Sonny!
Noel Perrin | Indianapolis, IN USA | 02/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This reissue consists of two sessions from the late fifties with two different quintets. The first six selections were recorded on March 29,1959. The line-up consists of Donald Byrd on trumpet, Hank Mobley on Tenor, Paul Chambers on bass, Art Blakey on drums & of course Sonny Clark on piano. All six selections are Clark originals. With such a formidable line-up nothing but superb musicianship would be expected, and that's exactly what you have here. This is classic Hard Bop, Hard Funk, Soul Jazz what ever you want to call it. The last three selections are from an earlier session recorded on December 8, 1957. The line-up on these selections consists of Clifford Jordan on tenor, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Paul Chambers on bass & Pete La Roca on drums. These last three selections are also Clark originals. Jordan's big tenor sound and Burrell's guitar give this session a unique sound. It is a nice contrast to first line-up on this recording. This recording really gives insight into his abilities as a composer as well as a pianist. In my opinion Sonny Clark is definitely one artist who was deserving of more recognition. Thankfully, Blue Note has reissued so much of his work so that people can hear what a great jazz artist he was. I would recommend Cool Struttin', Leapin' & Lopin' or Sonny's Crib ahead of My Conception, but from my viewpoint any Sonny Clark record is worth adding to your collection."
bruce horner | 08/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This well-done reissue combines two hard-to-find Sonny Clark sessions. Tracks 1-6 comprise a March 29th, 1959 session with trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenorist Hank Mobley, and drummer Art Blakey, obviously meant as an album but not released in Clark's lifetime. The last three tracks (7-9) were from a session 15 months earlier (Dec. 8, 1957) with tenorist Clifford Jordan, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and drummer Pete La Roca; Paul Chambers plays bass on both sessions. So basically you've got a "lost" Sonny Clark album here with a three-song bonus pairing him with Kenny Burrell. Perhaps the reason Alfred Lion didn't release the album at the time was that only one of the six compositions does NOT appear on some other Clark album. But Clark's stock has gone up in the jazz world, for good reason, so that now anything he recorded is of considerable interest. The fact that he rarely recorded with either Blakey or Mobley only adds to that interest. Blakey cooks here and Mobley handles his duties with his customary swinging aplomb. Aside from this, Mobley and Clark crossed paths in the studio only three other times, the tenorist appearing on Dial 'S' For Sonny and Clark playing on two early Mobley albums, but one is left wishing they had paired off many more times. Their styles dovetail remarkably, both having an economical, elegant sense of swing, relaxed yet propulsive, and great musical intelligence. Another Clark/Mobley album coming to light is cause for celebration.Though Clark certainly didn't get his due for many years, I'd have to say that he could hardly be considered 'neglected' now that every note he ever recorded as a leader is in print and dozens of albums on which he played as a sideman are also available. The same, sadly, cannot be said of Hank Mobley. Though his star seems to have been rising of late, MOST of his fifties albums for Blue Note remain long out of print and a large handful of his sixies albums (including Another Workout)are unavailabe as well. So any album that he appears on as sideman, particularly with such a simpatico leader, is doubly welcome.The three bonus tracks appended to My Conception provide a tasty dessert, with Clifford Jordan and the superb Kenny Burrell contrasting nicely with Mobley and Byrd from the other session. Clark apparently worked well with guitarists, having recorded several outstanding sessions with Grant Green, and with Burrell again on the altoist John Jenkins's eponymous (and very fine) debut LP. I don't know why this lineup only recorded three selections but they round out this CD very enjoyably. All told, this release may not be the classic that Cool Struttin' and Leapin' and Lopin' are, but every jazz fan should have it."
My Conception: Primo Sonny Clark!
bruce horner | 03/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the liner notes throw you. Contrary to the liner notes, there are no "trumpet fluffs" or ragged edges in these "arrangements". This is nothing less than a first-rate recording. Sonny is at his expressive, intuitive best, playing just slightly behind the beat, a model of cool, effortless post-Bop pianism. Pete "La Roca" Sim's cymbal work runs circles around Blakey, who played at deafening volume levels. The sides with Burrell are nearly 43 years old, yet sound fresher than the stuff Diana Krall is selling en masse today. When will they learn?"