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MUSICIAN Born:

Sonny Clark

Conrad Yeatis "Sonny" Clark was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom. Contents Clark was born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town southeast of Pittsburgh. At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh. When visiting an aunt in California at age 20, Clark decided to stay and began working with saxophonist Wardell Gray. Clark went to San Francisco with Oscar Pettiford and after a couple months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco in 1953. Clark toured the U.S. and Europe with DeFranco until January 1956, when he joined The Lighthouse All-Stars, led by bassist Howard Rumsey. Wishing to return to the east coast, Clark served as accompanist for singer Dinah Washington in February 1957 in order to relocate to New York City

The Complete Recordings

Label: Phono
Released: 2020
Track listing: CD1: Nutville; The Way You Look Tonight; Star Eyes; Minor Move; Everything Happens To Me; Good Old Soul; Up Tight’s Creek; Theme For Doris; Miss Hazel; True Blue; Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You. CD2: Back To The Tracks; Street Singer; The Blues And I; For Heaven’s Sake; The Ruby And The Pearl; Talkin’ About; One For Myrtle; Dhyana; David The King; Stranger In Paradise; The Waiting Game.

Dial "S" for Sonny

Label: Blue Note Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Dial “S” for Sonny; Bootin’ It; It Could Happen to You; Sonny’s Mood; Shoutin’ on a Riff; Love Walked In; Bootin’ It (alternate take).

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May

For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Sonny Clark

Jazz Musician of the Day: Sonny Clark

All About Jazz is celebrating Sonny Clark's birthday today! Conrad Yeatis “Sonny" Clark was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom. Contents Clark was born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town southeast of Pittsburgh. At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh. When visiting an aunt in California at ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Medeski, Martin and Wood: A Retro Phenomenon for the New Millenium

Read "Medeski, Martin and Wood: A Retro Phenomenon for the New Millenium" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in April 1999. No, they're not a law firm, and though they're not yet a household word either, MMW is a trio of formidable sonic integrity and groove. 'Fronted' by Hammond B-3 organist John Medeski, the trio has been described as everything ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Sonny's Crib

Read "Sonny's Crib" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

From the outset, pianist Sonny Clark's sophomore effort as a leader is crisp, white-hot hard bop. Leading a standard bop trumpet-tenor saxophone quintet (Donald Byrd, John Coltrane), supplemented with trombone (Curtis Fuller), Clark and his most reliable rhythm section of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor carve five dictionary examples (with alternate takes on the ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Dial "S" for Sonny

Read "Dial "S" for Sonny" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pianist Sonny Clark was culturally marginalized in much the same way as his contemporary Elmo Hope—both heroin-addicted jazz musicians in the 1950s: at the time, and romantically, a cliche. Both pianists have been sorely lumped into the “Bud Powell school of bop piano" which superficially may seem accurate until one considers the evolutionary continuum of jazz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Un Poco Loco: Ornithologie

Read "Ornithologie" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Somewhere Han Bennink is very jealous of the music making of the trio Un Poco Loco. The master of 'New Dutch Swing' hijinks would give his right crash cymbal to perform music in the manner this trio covers Charlie Parker on Ornithologie. The aptly designated Un Poco Loco ('a bit crazy') trio is trombonist Fidel Fourneyron, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tina Brooks Quintet: The Complete Recordings

Read "The Complete Recordings" reviewed by Chris May

Mosaic Records' spring 2020 release The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70, the second of the label's box sets devoted to the copiously recorded (and rightly so) Hank Mobley, prompts thoughts of another of Blue Note's singular hard-bop tenor saxophone stylists. Unlike Mobley, Tina Brooks was woefully under-recorded, making just four albums under his own ...


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