Using original compositions that serve as mainstream jazz anthems, drummer Mike Clark has created a program around his taste for rhythmic drive and small band creativity. Fusion, funk and ballads sit under the umbrella of Clark’s design; however, they’re tempered with tradition. Fluid trumpet and tenor saxophone solos grace "The Viper" accompanied by just the acoustic bass and drums. It’s a lovely setting. And yet, as the title suggests, this one is full of intrigue. The band isn’t as effective on "Waiting Around." This ballad with Clark’s swirling brushes stalls in places, as does "Stuff." The ensemble seems to prefer fast-paced numbers, which incorporate the driving force of the drummer.
High points include "Attack of the 40 ft. Woman" with its swinging "Harlem Nocturne" mood; a swinging "Bacon Phat" flavored with tradition and raw blues hues; "The Famous Door" driving forcefully with a modified Bo Diddley beat; "59th Street Station," which features Bennie Maupin ambling unhurriedly on the subterranean bass clarinet; and "Aristede." This key selection gets its colors from Tim Ouimette’s wind driver. As you’d expect, it fills the role of an electronic keyboard. Ted Trimble’s acoustic bass sets the tone of the piece with an outstanding introduction, then Maupin appears with a creative and highly effective soprano saxophone improvisation. The piece includes an extended drum solo that runs for nearly 3 minutes. What a surprise!
Highly recommended, this album comes by way of a drummer who began his professional career at the age of four, playing "Sweet Georgia Brown" at his father’s insistence in a New Orleans club. Not that many years ago, Clark recorded several albums with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters. Today, he’s offering actual proof that this timeless music is here to stay.
Stingers; The Grinder; Aristide; The Viper; Waiting Around; Stuff; Attack of the 40ft Woman; Cops & Robbers; 59th Street Station; Bacon Phat; The Famous Door.
Mike Clark- drums; Ted Trimble- acoustic bass, electric bass; Charlie Hunter- guitar; Tim Ouimette- trumpet, wind driver; Bennie Maupin- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Jed Levy- tenor saxophone; Kevin Burrell- congas on "The Grinder."
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.