Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin'

1957 was a busy year for the pianist Sonny Clark. Aside from Cool Struttin', he also released six other LPs on Blue Note. His astounding output, however, was cut short due to his premature death in 1963. The highlight of Clark's prolific period must be Cool Struttin', a session featuring a virtual who's who of Blue Note's then-rising young crop of hard-bop stars. The recording opens with the aptly named title cut, as Clark's jaunty, forward-leaning piano drives the tune with crisp precision. The rest of the disc (this edition contains the Rodgers and Hart tune "Lover," which did not appear on the original release) is a sterling example of late-50s, finger-poppin' bop with the likes of trumpeter Art Farmer, saxophonist Jackie McClean, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones stretching out and digging in. --S. Duda

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