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Sonny Clark

This recording is the result of two sessions from late 1958 (the other was released in Japan as Blues in the Night). The 45 Sessions CD also includes three alternate takes from the 1957 Sonny Clark Trio date (BN 1579) with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. The remaining tunes feature Sonny with drummer Wes Landers and bassist Jymie Merritt (who went on to join Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers). In contrast to the hard-driving bebop approach of the 1957 session, this material is very relaxed. Intended for release as 45 singles, the tunes are generally short interpretations of popular standards. Clark's left hand comping is informed more by Ahmad Jamal than Bud Powell. Landers primarily uses brushes and has a less aggressive approach than Philly Joe. The result is some of Sonny's most accessible piano trio work, with beautiful chord voicings and harmonizations and a very coherent group sound. Note that this material is also included in Blue Note's 1998 domestic Sonny Clark release entitled Standards. ~ Lee Bloom