Clark was born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town southeast of Pittsburgh. At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh. When visiting an aunt in California at age 20, Clark decided to stay and began working with saxophonist Wardell Gray. Clark went to San Francisco with Oscar Pettiford and after a couple months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco in 1953. Read Full BioConrad Yeatis "Sonny" Clark (July 21, 1931 – January 13, 1963) was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom.
Clark was born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town southeast of Pittsburgh. At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh. When visiting an aunt in California at age 20, Clark decided to stay and began working with saxophonist Wardell Gray. Clark went to San Francisco with Oscar Pettiford and after a couple months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco in 1953. Clark toured the U.S. and Europe with DeFranco until January 1956, when he joined The Lighthouse All-Stars, led by bassist Howard Rumsey.
Wishing to return to the east coast, Clark served as accompanist for singer Dinah Washington in February 1957 in order to relocate to New York City. In New York, Clark was often requested as a sideman by many musicians, partly because of his rhythmic comping. He frequently recorded for Blue Note Records, playing as a sideman with many hard bop players, including Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor, and Wilbur Ware. He also recorded sessions with Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Billie Holiday, Stanley Turrentine, and Lee Morgan.
As a band leader, Clark recorded albums Dial "S" for Sonny (1957), Sonny's Crib (1957), Sonny Clark Trio (1957), with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, and Cool Struttin' (1958). Sonny Clark Trio, with George Duvivier and Max Roach was released in 1960.
Clark died of a heart attack in New York City, although commentators attribute the early death to Clark's drug and alcohol abuse.
Close friend and fellow jazz pianist Bill Evans dedicated the composition "NYC's No Lark" (an anagram of "Sonny Clark") to him after his death, included on Evans' Conversations with Myself (1963). John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond, and Bobby Previte recorded an album of Clark's compositions, Voodoo (1985), as The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. Zorn also recorded several of Clark's compositions with Bill Frisell and George Lewis on News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1992).
Sonny Clark Lyrics
Jump to: Overall Meaning
As these are instrumental lyrics, there is no actual message being conveyed by a vocalist. However, the music tells a story of its own. The song Cool Struttin' is a jazz standard that is characterized by its lively, upbeat tempo and a series of soulful and funky horns. The instruments work in harmony to create a cool and jazzy sound that is perfect for strutting to. The song is almost entirely based on improvisation, which makes it a unique and interesting piece of music.
The song starts off with a funky bassline that sets the tone for the rest of the song. As the track progresses, the horns begin to play their melody, which is characterized by short phrasings and syncopated rhythms. The piano then kicks in with a bluesy solo that adds a touch of soul to the song. The drums provide an energetic beat that drives the song forward, and the horns continue to play their soulful melody throughout the track.
Overall, the song Cool Struttin' by Sonny Clark is a classic piece of jazz music that combines improvisation, intricate melodies, and harmonies to create an upbeat and fun tune. It is a perfect example of the cool jazz style that was popular during the 1950s and 1960s.
Contributed by Peyton O. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
Sonny's solo is so killin'!!!! One of the greatest of all time
BOTH his solos are killin'!!! Love how he gets two solos on a few tracks on this album. I always feel more comfortable going last, but he goes first and last!
I thought it was Vince Guaraldi when I first heard it
V recommend this song 😍😍😍
I love BTS 💘 💗
This one, “Cool Struttin’” and Art Blakey’s “Moanin” are the ultimate hard-bop iconic recordings. There’s nothing that surpasses this kind of Jazz music. And part of the absolutely best-ever Jazz years, folks. Dig, Enjoy, G’day & Cheers!
@LUCKY 472 Agreed Lucky! Be well, keep swingin’ & Cheers!
I agree Ron, Swingin Mudaa Fakaa Rite here, An Moanin Speaks for itself!! Pure Undiluted Straight-Ahead JAZZ!!! 🎶🔥🎶 Cheers Cool one!!🍻
Excelente 👌 Gracias Taehyung 💜