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In the late 50s and early 60s Sonny Clark functioned as the de facto house pianist for the fabled Blue Note label. Many of his recordings with giants like Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller among many others are considered classics of the hard bop genre. Unfortunately, this Bud Powell-influenced pianist suffered from drug and alcohol addictions and his career was cut tragically short at the age of 31. As a result, Sonny’s output as a leader, Dial S for Sonny, Sonny's Crib, Leapin’ and Lopin’, Cool Struttin' are prime examples, was rather meager. My Conception was recorded in 1959 and until now has only been readily available in Japan. The CD features Sonny working out on eight original compositions (there are two versions of Minor Meeting) with illustrious guests Donald Byrd (trumpet), Hank Mobley (tenor), Paul Chambers (bass), Clifford Jordan (tenor), Kenny Burrell (guitar) and drummers Art Blakey and Pete La Roca. A “typical” Blue Note hard bop session that is a welcome addition to the Blue Note Connoisseur Series and Clark’s discography. ####
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.