why sonny clark?? biography discography original tunes reviews/transcriptions about Lee Bloom about Mike Waters

In the world of jazz music, there have been many great innovators, eccentric personalities, and tragic heroes. There have also been (and this continues to be true) many beautiful musicians who had a unique voice and made significant contributions to the art - but, due to circumstances beyond their grasp, remained obscure to the general public and to most jazz listeners as well.




Sonny Clark is usually associated with the "Hard Bop" school of jazz, a development of the Bebop movement in music. Bebop developed primarily in the 1940s; Hard Bop in the fifties.




As a pianist, Sonny Clark absorbed influences such as Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Horace Silver. By the age of thirty, Sonny had already grown to master the Bebop language, and had developed his own identity on the instrument, characterized by a distinct touch, phrasing and tone color. He was respected by fellow musicians for his uncanny ability to create long, flowing melodic lines which sounded confident yet relaxed, regardless of the tempo. His improvised solos always swung hard, with lots of driving, rhythmic vitality - plus he was a marvelous "comper", able to combine sensitive harmonic accompaniment and lively rhythmic punctuations.





In spite of his musical talent and accomplishment, Sonny Clark never received the acclaim he deserved. His drug addiction hindered his career and ultimately cost him his life. Despite the many recordings he contributed to - both as leader and sideman - and the numerous compositions he penned, Sonny Clark's name remains unknown to all but the most enlightened jazz devotee.