For 2014, Blue Note - along with Universal Music Enterprises - is launching a major 75th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that Blue Note's catalog should be readily available at a low cost - featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging.
Considered one of the great young pianists of the mid-to-late 1950s, Sonny Clark was practically the house pianist at Blue Note during 1957-62 before his tragically early death in 1963 when he was just 31. He began his career playing and recording with Teddy Charles and Wardell Gray in the early 1950s. Inspired by Bud Powell, he made a particularly strong impression during his period with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco's group. He also worked with Dinah Washington, Serge Chaloff and Sonny Criss in addition to leading his own trio.
But he is most famous for his work for Blue Note In addition to leading seven albums for the label, Clark was on many sessions as a sidemen, uplifting every date with his adventurous and swinging playing. His playing was full of joyful discoveries, constant swing, and an optimistic creativity that was indescribable and quite infectious. Cool Struttin,' the pianist's most famous and rewarding album, features Sonny Clark in a quintet with altoist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Art Farmer, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones.
On this 1958 gem, Clark is featured on four lengthy performances, including Miles Davis "Sippin' At Bells" and the exotic "Deep Night." The music is filled with magical moments where the five musicians seem to think and create like one. The greatest jazz performances include moments like those heard on "Cool Struttin'" where the music has a life of its own beyond the individual players. The more one plays this superb album, the more it is obvious that this is one of the truly essential Blue Note recordings.
|1. Cool Struttin’|
|2. Blue Minor|
|3. Sippin’ At Bells|
|4. Deep Night|