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Sonny Clark
Sonny’s Crib | 45rpm 2LP

Music Matters / Blue Note

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$145.00 SGD
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$145.00 SGD


A TAV Curator’s Pick.

“Recorded in 1957, Sonny's Crib features a front line of Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, and John Coltrane with Sonny Clark on piano, Art Taylor on drums, and Paul Chambers on bass. Truly still a bebop recording, done a full year before the landmark Cool Struttin' session, nonetheless the set produced some awesome readings of classic tunes, like the opener, "With a Song in My Heart," with one of the knottiest Byrd solos ever. As Chambers and Taylor up the rhythmic ante and Clark comps with enormous chords in the background, the entire line solos, but it is Byrd's that is stunning in its complexity -- though Coltrane could play bebop as well as anybody. The most notable tracks on the session are the classic readings of Kurt Weill's "Speak Low" and "News for Lulu," the latter of which has been adopted by John Zorn as his theme. On the former, Clark's rearrangement, with Coltrane leading the front line, is truly revelatory.” – All Music

“Pianist Sonny Clark started with Bud Powell as his musical role model but by the mid-1950s had his own irresistible style. Clark set the standard for hard bop musicians by mastering the bebop vocabulary while also looking ahead and not being shy to include soulful phrases, the blues, and ideas from other sources in his playing. Sonny's Crib, which has the remarkable frontline of Donald Byrd, Curtis Fuller and John Coltrane, features many inspired solos, with Byrd and 'Trane competing with Clark for honors. "News For Lulu" (decades later recorded by John Zorn) and an uptempo "With A Song In My Heart" are among the gems heard on this intriguing date, a definitive hard bop session that still sounds fresh, lively and vital a half-century later.

Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.” – Music Matters

About Sonny Clark :

Like Fats Navarro and Charlie Parker before him, Sonny Clark's life was short but it burned with musical intensity. Influenced deeply by Bud Powell, Clark nonetheless developed an intricate and hard-swinging harmonic sensibility that was full of nuance and detail. Regarded as the quintessential hard bop pianist, Clark never got his due before he passed away in 1963 at the age of 31, despite the fact that it can be argued that he never played a bad recording date either as a sideman or as a leader. Known mainly for seven records on the Blue Note label with a host of players including such luminaries as John Coltrane, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor, Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Philly Joe Jones, and others, Clark actually made his recording debut with Teddy Charles and Wardell Gray, but left soon after to join Buddy DeFranco.

His work with the great clarinetist has been documented in full in a Mosaic set that is now sadly out of print. Clark also backed Dinah Washington, Serge Chaloff, and Sonny Criss before assuming his role as a leader in 1957. Clark's classic is regarded as Cool Struttin' but each date he led on Blue Note qualifies as a classic, including his final date, Sonny's Crib with John Coltrane. And though commercial success always eluded him, he was in demand as a sideman and played dozens of Alfred Lion-produced dates, including Tina Brooks' Minor Move. Luckily, Clark's contribution is well documented by Alfred Lion; he has achieved far more critical, musical, and popular acclaim than he ever did in life. – Blue Note Records


  • Piano – Sonny Clark
  • Trumpet – Donald Byrd
  • Trombone – Curtis Fuller
  • Tenor Saxophone – John Coltrane
  • Bass – Paul Chambers
  • Drums – Art Taylor

Item description:        


Sonny Clark


Sonny's Crib


Music Matters, Blue Note


2 × Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM, Album, Stereo, Reissue, Limited Edition



Release Date:

This reissue: July 2011 | Original: 1957




Hard Bop

Catalog No:

MMBST-81576, BLP 1576