The Complete Sonny Clark Blue Note Sessions (rec. 1957-61): A Rediscovered Jazz Treasure

jazz sonny clark

The Complete Sonny Clark Blue Note Sessions offers a comprehensive view of the influential jazz pianist’s work during his time with the renowned Blue Note label. This limited edition 6-CD set from Mosaic Records aims to revive Clark’s somewhat overlooked contribution to the world of jazz.

A Musical Journey Through Sonny Clark’s Blue Note Years

The compilation features 61 tracks spanning nine Blue Note albums and showcases Clark’s work with legendary musicians such as John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and many more. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout sessions from this remarkable collection.

Dial ‘S’ For Sonny

This 1957 session features Sonny Clark leading an extraordinary ensemble, including Hank Mobley on tenor, Art Farmer on trumpet, and Curtis Fuller on trombone. The session highlights Clark’s elegant, interconnected phrasing and intricate right-hand patterns.

Sonny’s Crib

In his second Blue Note album, Clark is joined by John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, and others for a captivating set that includes the iconic “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” The musicians’ solos are vibrant and full of high-energy flurries.

Sonny Clark Trio

In this 1957 trio session, Clark is accompanied by Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. Together, they deliver high-speed, fluent reworkings of popular bebop standards and exhibit a seamless musical unity.

The Singles’ Session

Aimed at the jukebox market, this 1958 session features six popular jazz compositions recorded with a more commercial, middle-of-the-road approach. Despite this, the artistry of Clark and his fellow musicians shines through.

My Conception

Recorded in 1959, this session showcases fiery solos and fresh ideas from the likes of Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, and Art Blakey in a set consisting of six Clark originals.

Leapin’ And Lopin’

Marking Clark’s final session as a leader on the Blue Note label, the 1961 album features a mix of original compositions and classic jazz tunes, with standout tracks like “Voodoo” exhibiting Clark’s growth as a pianist.

In Conclusion

The Complete Sonny Clark Blue Note Sessions is a treasure trove of exceptional jazz performances that not only highlights the brilliance of Sonny Clark but also the musicians he collaborated with during his time at Blue Note. The quality of the recordings is outstanding, ensuring that listeners can fully appreciate the artistry and skill that went into creating each track. For any fan of jazz, this collection is simply unmissable.

Link: 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.