166

John Clark: I Will

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
John Clark: I Will
The French horn is not the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of jazz. In modern jazz history, there have been only a handful of musicians — David Amram, Julius Watkins, Gunther Schuller — who have achieved any acclaim on the instrument. John Clark is another. A veteran of the progressive big bands of Gil Evans, Carla Bley, and McCoy Tyner, and a current member of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Clark is probably the most in-demand French horn player on the scene today.

I Will, Clark's fourth album as a leader, showcases his talents as a composer and arranger for a rotating ensemble of up to eleven musicians, including Alex Foster on saxophone, Ryo Kawasaki on guitar, and Howard Johnson on bass clarinet. This eclectic lineup works its way through five Clark originals, including the three movement "96th Street Sonata" and three standards: a trio (French horn, tuba, drums) version of Sonny Rollins' "Airegin," a quintet treatment of the ballad "My One and Only Love," and a rousing large group take on John Coltrane's "India," which opens, appropriately enough, with a sitar.

Clark's compositions range from freely improvised duos and trios to more intricately orchestrated pieces for larger ensembles. "Bad Attitude," an octet number, has a tough Mingus-like snarl and features Clark's most aggressive playing. The title cut, another large group offering, is a warm, fairly straight-ahead ballad with Clark and Foster in extended solo roles. The ensemble playing throughout the album is always interesting and frequently inspired.

As the centerpiece of a jazz group, the sound of the French horn takes a little getting used to. The instrument lacks the volume and bluesy gruffness of the trumpet and saxophone. But in Clark's capable hands, it has a clarity and purity of tone that should appeal to many listeners.

Personnel

John Clark: french horn.

Album information

Title: I Will | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Postcards

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Mono No Aware
Roberto Pianca Sub Rosa
Live at NIR Studios
Georg Graewe, Kjell Nordeson, Jon Raskin Trio
Breathe
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Beau Bow de Lune
Val McCallum
Jesup Wagon
James Brandon Lewis
Songs For Tracy
Frank Macchia

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings 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 step that will help musicians and venues 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 sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.