Pianist Sonny Clark enjoyed only a short career as a performing and recording musician. His premature death at age 31 due to drug abuse was a major blow to the Jazz fraternity, but unfortunately incidents like these were not uncommon among Jazz musicians of the 40s 50s and 60s. Sonny Clark's style as a pianist owed much to Bud Powell and for the duration of his career he has maintained a bop-inspired sound which was much in demand in New York in the mid 50s. Before he came east, he worked in San Francisco with Vido Musso and Oscar Pettiford in the early '50s, settled in Los Angeles, made his first recordings with Teddy Charles and then worked with Buddy DeFranco's quartet (1953-56); He also worked with Sonny Criss, Frank Rosolino and the Lighthouse All-Stars. Moving to New York in 1957, Clark became a fixture on Blue Note, recording several classics as a leader and recording no less than 7 albums in 1957 alone. Out of his total output for Blue Note, in particular Dial S for Sonny, Cool Struttin' and Sonny's Crib are noteworthy. During the late 50s he teamed up with several Jazz giants of the time both as a leader and appearing as a sideman with Grant Green, Sonny Rollins, Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Lou Donaldson and Curtis Fuller among many others.
Recommended Recordings
Dial "S" for Sonny Blue Note
Sonny's Crib Blue Note
Sonny Clark Trio Blue Note
Cool Struttin' Blue Note
Quintet Blue Note
Complete Cool Struttin' [limited edition] Blue Note
The Best of the Blue Note Years Blue Note
Sonny Clark Trio Blue Note
My Conception Blue Note
Leapin' and Lopin' Blue Note
Grant Green; Complete Quartets w. Sonny Clark Blue Note

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