Sonny Clark: Sonny's Crib
Sonny's Crib [aka Sonny's Crip]
Sonny Clark (piano)
Sonny Clark Trio (Bainbridge 1044)
Recorded: New York, March 23, 1960
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
One of Sonny Clark's best trio sessions was strangely not recorded by Blue Note, the label for which he was virtually the "house pianist" for the major part of his tragically shortened career. (He died in 1963 at the age of 31.) "Sonny's Crib," which was also the title track of Clark's 1957 album featuring John Coltrane, is an ebullient bop theme with a hint of Gigi Gryce's "Social Call" in its final bars. Except for some lively traded fours with Roach near the end, this version is dominated by Clark's extended solo, which shows an obvious Bud Powell influence in both its phrasing and rhythmic sense, and in the way he utilizes his left hand quite sparingly, although his touch differs somewhat from Powell's. While Clark's playing is unlike theirs, his sustained drive brings to mind the consistently reliable pianists Hampton Hawes and Wynton Kelly. He also sounds a lot like Barry Harris on this particular track – or was it Barry who was imitating him? In any case, this "Sonny's Crib" finds Clark cultivating his bebop roots, rather than the hard-bop style that emerged from them.
Reviewer: Scott Albin