Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

365

Grant Green: The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark

By

Sign in to view read count
Just like rice and beans, Grant Green and Sonny Clark created a synergy that was more than the sum of its parts. Nowhere is that more apparent than on "The Complete Quartets," where there were no horns competing for solos. The elegant, laid-back style that characterizes these recordings was the one in which both Green and Clark seemed most comfortable, and it shows.

Ironically, neither Green nor Clark was around to see any of this music released. Apparently due to Green's prodigious output in the early '60's, Blue Note decided to shelve these "less commercial" recordings in favor of his more groove-oriented soul-jazz material. The wrong was corrected in 1980, when "Nigeria," "Gooden's Corner," and "Oleo" were released, combining to contain all the music found here except for a couple alternates.

My opinion is that these tunes swing as hard as anything I've heard, and that their appeal runs the gamut — there is nothing not to like. Green's delicious riffs flow from his guitar like water from a glacier, and the analogy of melting ice shouldn't be lost; the mood here is so "cool" it burns. This is the type of music whose implied swing is so ferocious it has you on the edge of your seat howling with ecstasy.

The highlight of the first disc is Gershwin's chestnut "It Ain't Necessarily So," which clocks in as the longest of the set at 10:20. Drummer Art Blakey starts things off with a subtly Latin 12/8 groove as Green joins him and sympathetic bassist Sam Jones with a decidedly loose interpretation of the melody. Blakey kicks into a straight four rhythm as Green's guitar sails over the changes, accompanied by Sonny Clark's bluesy punches and full keyboard slides. Blakey, overcome with the irresistability of the music, starts hootin' and hollerin' as Clark takes his solo. Clark, like Green, is a master of understatement and uses this to full advantage by teasing the listener with half-finished motifs drenched with the blues. As he gets ready to turn the melody back over to Green, Blakey insists for him to continue - "No, go ahead, go ahead" - a revelatory glance into the atmosphere of the session.

The immensely likeable playing is augmented by excellent song selection, with some standouts being a smokin' "The Song is You," "On Green Dolphin Street," Henri Mancini's "Moon River," "Tune Up," and a "My Favorite Things" that stays much truer to the heart of the tune than any of Coltrane's more impassioned renditions. Full of intuition, soul, and swing, and lacking in pretense, "The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark" has me asking myself"does music get any better than this?"


Track Listing: Disc One: 1. Airegin; 2. It Ain't Necessarily So; 3. I Concentrate on You; 4. The Things We Did Last Summer; 5. The Song is You; 6. Nancy (with the Laughing Face); 7. Airegin (Alt Tk); 8. On Green Dolphin Street; 9. Shadrack; 10. What is This Thing Called Love? Disc Two: 1. Moon River; 2. Gooden's Corner; 3. Two for One; 4. Oleo; 5. Little Girl Blue; 6. Tune Up; 7. Hip Funk; 8. My Favorite Things; 9. Oleo (Alt Tk).

Personnel: GRANT GREEN, guitar; SONNY CLARK, piano; SAM JONES, bass; ART BLAKEY, drums (Disc One #1-7); LOUIS HAYES, drums (all others).

Title: The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Lacy Pool_2" CD/LP/Track Review Lacy Pool_2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Bekkenjordet" CD/LP/Track Review Bekkenjordet
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 18, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!