Rediscovering Jazz Legend Sonny Clark: The Complete Blue Note Sessions

jazz sonny clark

A Musical Journey Through Sonny Clark’s Blue Note Years

Sonny Clark, a jazz pianist of exceptional talent, has often been overlooked in the annals of jazz history. With a career tragically cut short at the age of 32 due to heroin addiction, Clark left behind a rich discography of recordings, many of which were made with the iconic Blue Note record label. To celebrate and revive Clark’s musical legacy, Mosaic Records has released a limited edition box set, ‘The Complete Sonny Clark Blue Note Sessions,’ showcasing his work recorded between 1957-1961.

The Artistry of Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark’s piano playing was characterized by its unique style, often described as a fusion of the virtuosity of Bud Powell and the smooth flow of Horace Silver. In every recording, Clark’s music demands attention with its subtle touch, original phrasing, and immaculate timing.

The Complete Sonny Clark Blue Note Sessions

This box set offers a comprehensive look at Sonny Clark’s work during his time with the prestigious Blue Note label, which was founded by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. The six CDs include 61 tracks, offering a detailed look at his musical development over four years.

Dial ‘S’ For Sonny

Sonny Clark’s first Blue Note album, ‘Dial ‘S’ For Sonny,’ showcases his work with notable musicians such as Hank Mobley, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Wilbur Ware, and Louis Hayes. This album features a mix of original compositions and standards, highlighting Clark’s skills as both a pianist and composer.

Sonny’s Crib

In his second album, Clark is joined by musicians like Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor. This album includes a mix of originals and standards, each bringing out the best in each musician’s playing.

Sonny Clark Trio

Featuring a trio with Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums, this album includes a selection of bebop and popular standards, showcasing the group’s incredible chemistry and musicianship.

Sonny Clark Quintet

This album finds Clark alongside Clifford Jordan, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, and Pete La Roca, presenting original compositions that highlight his growth as a composer and bandleader.

Cool Struttin’

Arguably Clark’s most famous album, ‘Cool Struttin” features Jackie McLean, Art Farmer, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. The album contains a mix of originals and standards, with each musician playing at their peak.

The Singles’ Session

Recorded with Jymie Merritt and Wes Landers, this session aimed to create commercial hits, yet the result is still a testament to Clark’s artistry. The recordings include both jazz standards and well-known popular tunes.

Blues In The Night

Accompanied by Paul Chambers and Wes Landers, this recording showcases Clark’s ability to infuse emotion and soul into familiar standards, as well as demonstrate his impeccable sense of timing and phrasing.

My Conception

This album features musicians such as Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Paul Chambers, and Art Blakey. With a mix of original compositions, ‘My Conception’ highlights Clark’s unique and distinctive approach to jazz.

A Timeless Tribute to Sonny Clark

‘The Complete Sonny Clark Blue Note Sessions’ is a testament to the timeless artistry of Sonny Clark. The recordings, remastered from the original analog tapes, offer an incredible listening experience that brings new life to this often-overlooked jazz legend.

More detail from Mosaic Records

About Me

I’m Dr. Miles Beaumont from the charming town of York in the UK. I’ve spent over three decades as a medical doctor, helping people and contributing to important research. I graduated from Oxford University, and ever since, I’ve devoted myself to improving the health and lives of others.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you’ll find me soaking up the world of jazz music. It’s been a passion of mine since I turned 30, and I’ve been an active part of York’s jazz scene ever since. Whether it’s going to local gigs, listening to records at home, or just enjoying the rhythmic and improvisational magic of jazz, it’s a big part of who I am.