Sonny Clark – My Conception


This welcome collection pairs two late-1950s sessions that sat in the Blue Note vaults for decades after they were recorded. It offers a variety of gifts for the Sonny Clark fan. First, there is the matter sidemen. The March 1959 session that spawned the first six tunes boasts the presence of tenor Hank Mobley and drummer Art Blakey, both found in inspired form here. Mobley is bright throughout, playing with a bit more fire than usual while producing tender and moving work on the ballad title track. Blakey, meanwhile, is an animal (listen to his fury on “Minor Meeting”), goading and prodding and steering from the background. The final three songs, from December of 1957, include guitarist Kenny Burrell, tenor Clifford Jordan and drummer Pete LaRoca. Of course, Clark is the unifying theme. His compositions are crafty enough to keep things interesting but simple enough to allow assured, fluid improvisation. His piano work shows equal parts grace and grit, delicacy and drive, and his support of the other soloists is consistently interesting and lively.


01. Junka
02. Blues Blue
03. Minor Meeting (Second Version)
04. Royal Flush (Second Version)
05. Some Clark Bars
06. My Conception
07. Minor Meeting (First Version) (Mono)
08. Eastern Incident (Mono)
09. Little Sonny (Mono)

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