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  Home > CD Boxsets

Sonny Clark - The Complete Albums Collection 1957-1962

Sonny Clark - The Complete Albums Collection 1957-1962

Conrad Yeatis "Sonny" Clark (July 21, 1931 January 13, 1963) was among the very finest jazz pianists working in the hard bop idiom.
Born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town east of Pittsburgh, his parents were originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia. Clarks miner father, Emory Clark, died of lung disease two weeks after Sonny was born. Sonny was the youngest of eight children. At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh.
When visiting an aunt in California aged 20, Clark decided to stay and began working with saxophonist Wardell Gray. He then went to San Francisco with Oscar Pettiford and after a couple months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco in 1953. Clark toured the United States 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. In New York, Clark was often requested as a sideman by many musicians, partly because of his rhythmic comping. He frequently recorded for Blue Note Records, serving as a sideman for many hard bop players, including Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor and Wilbur Ware. He also recorded sessions with Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Billie Holiday, Stanley Turrentine, and Lee Morgan.
As a band leader, Clark recorded eight albums including Dial "S" for Sonny (1957), Sonny's Crib (1957), Sonny Clark Trio (1957), with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, and Cool Struttin' (1958). Sonny Clark Trio, with George Duvivier and Max Roach was released in 1960.
All these recordings are included on this intriguing compilation.
Clark died of a heart attack in New York City in January 1963 although commentators attribute the early death to his drug and alcohol abuse.
Close friend and fellow jazz pianist Bill Evans dedicated the composition "NYC's No Lark" (an anagram of "Sonny Clark") to him after his death, included on Evans' Conversations with Myself (1963). John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond, and Bobby Previte recorded an album of Clark's compositions, Voodoo (1985), as the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. Zorn also recorded several of Clark's compositions with Bill Frisell and George Lewis on News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1992).


01 Dial S For Sonny (Clark) 7:26
02 Bootin' It (Clark) 5:15
03 It Could Happen To You (Van Heusen/Burke) 6:59
04 Sonny's Mood (Clark) 8:38
05 Shoutin' On A Riff (Clark) 6:45
06 With A Song In My Heart (Rodgers/Hart) 7:55
07 Speak Low (Weill/Nash) 6:50
08 Come Rain Or Come Shine (Arlen/Mercer) 7:29
09 Sonny's Crib (Clark) 13:31
10 News For Lulu (Clark) 8:34

Time: 79:22

1 Be-Bop (Gillespie) 9:48
2 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Hart/Rodgers) 4:17
3 Two Bass Hit (Gillespie/Lewis) 3:40
4 Tadd's Delight (Dameron) 5:56
5 Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Romberg/Hammerstein) 6:29
6 I'll Remember April (Raye/De Paul/Johnston) 4:51
7 Royal Flush (Clark) 8:58
8 Lover (Hart/Rodgers) 6:59
9 Minor Meeting (Clark) 6:56
10 Eastern Incident (Clark) 8:16
11 Little Sonny (Clark) 6:32

Time: 72:42

1 Cool Struttin' (Clark) 9:24
2 Blue Minor (Clark) 10:20
3 Sippin' At Bells (Davis) 8:19
4 Deep Night (Henderson) 9:34
5 Junka (Clark) 7:30
6 Blues Blue (Clark) 7:18
7 Minor Meeting (Clark) 6:46
8 Royal Flush (Clark) 7:00
9 Some Clark Bars (Clark) 6:18
10 My Conception (Clark) 4:44

Time: 77:13

1 Minor Meeting (Clark) 3:45
2 Nica (Clark) 6:16
3 Sonny's Crib (Clark) 6:17
4 Blues Mambo (Clark) 5:05
5 Blues Blue (Clark) 4:25
6 Junka (Clark) 6:14
7 My Conception (Clark) 4:30
8 Sonia (Clark/Wilson) 5:10
9 Somethin' Special (Clark) 6:20
10 Deep In A Dream (Van Heusen/DeLange) 6:42
11 Melody For C (Clark) 7:45
12 Eric Walks (Warren) 5:38
13 Voodoo (Clark) 7:37
14 Midnight Mambo (Turrentine) 7:09

Time: 82:51

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