All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

My Blue Note Obsession
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970)

Funk in France: From...

Resonance Records
2018

buy
Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s

Slick! – Live at...

Resonance Records
2018

buy
 

The Main Attraction

Bluemoon Records
2013

buy
 

Four Classic Albums

Bluemoon Records
2012

buy
Street Of Dreams

Street Of Dreams

Blue Note Records
2009

buy
Grant Green: Matador

Grant Green: Matador

Unknown label
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Open Heart CD/LP/Track Review
Open Heart
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Steve Reich: Drumming CD/LP/Track Review
Steve Reich: Drumming
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2018
Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set" CD/LP/Track Review Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Vortex" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "Welcome To This World" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome To This World
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2018
Read "Lighthouse" CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Mephiti" CD/LP/Track Review Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017