Leapin' And Lopin' Sonny Clark
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- 1Somethin' Special06:19
- 2Deep In A Dream06:43
- 3Melody For C07:46
- 4Eric Walks05:39
- 6Midnight Mambo07:13
Info for Leapin' And Lopin'
Sonny Clark is not often heralded as one of hard bop's great talents, but albums like Leapin' And Lopin' should rectify that oversight. An excellent pianist, composer, and bandleader, Clark demonstrates all three capacities on this 1961 date, turning in a host of fine originals and even better performances.
The personnel includes tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse and drummer Billy Higgins, among others, and there's fine playing all around, including Clark's elegant skills on the keys. This album was the artist's last as a leader (he died two years later), and it's a fitting swansong, as well as a thoroughly satisfying listen.
„Perhaps the names of the musicians in this supporting cast are not quite as lustrous in reputation, but the final result is the best album Sonny Clark has presented to date. Sonny Clark has come of age.“ (Ira Gitler, from the liner notes)
Sonny Clark, piano
Ike Quebec, tenor saxophone
Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophone
Tommy Turrentine, trumpet
Butch Warren, upright bass
Billy Higgins, drums
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 13, 1961 Engineered by Rudy VanGelder
Produced by Alfred Lion and Michael Cuscuna
Considered one of the great young pianists of the mid-to-late 1950s, Sonny Clark was practically the house pianist at Blue Note during 1957-62 before his premature death in 1963. He led seven albums for Blue Note during that time, appeared on many dates as a sideman, and recorded Cool Struttin, which is considered his main classic. Clark never recorded an unworthy chorus. His playing was full of joyful discoveries, constant swing, and an optimistic creativity that was indescribable and quite infectious. On Cool Struttin from 1958, Clark matches wits and inventive ideas with altoist Jackie McLean and trumpeter Art Farmer. Their four lengthy performances, which include Miles Davis Sippin' At Bells and the exotic Deep Night, are filled with magical moments where the five musicians seem to think and create like one. The greatest jazz performances include moments like those heard on Cool Struttin , where the music has a life of its own beyond the individual players. The more one plays Cool Struttin , the more it is obvious that this is one of the truly essential Blue Note recordings.
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