In the present.
Wolff and Clark are most definitely in the present - and when these two get together they naturally explore. Expedition: A journey undertaken by a group of people with a definite objective; or the group undertaking such a journey. Implicit in the definition: the exploratory nature of the journey, or “to go where no one has gone before” in Star Trek parlance. So it is with the intrepid negotiations of the modern Wolff and Clark Expedition. The name recalls another notorious duo of similar name, the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Now while it could be argued that that endeavor retraced already tread regions - their trip merely revealed what lay ahead to a new crowd. The same cannot be claimed for Wolff and Clark, whose music, while steeped in the rich history of American music, simultaneously blazes a trail fresh with virgin soil and fertile with sounds I guarantee you have never heard before.
Performing together since the 1970s both Wolff and Clark individually have had stellar music careers. Michael Wolff is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and bandleader, and is best known for his melodically, fresh,and rhythmically compelling piano style. Wolff made his recording debut in 1972 with Cal Tjader, and went on to record with Cannonball Adderley, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Tony Williams, Christian McBride and many others. As pianist and music director for jazz singer Nancy Wilson, Michael wrote orchestral arrangements and conducted more than 25 major symphony orchestras worldwide. From 1989 to 1994, Michael served as the band leader for the Arsenio Hall Show, which heightened his visibility and gave him the opportunity to perform with many established artists such as Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and saxophonist/president Bill Clinton. Michael Wolff has released 12 critically acclaimed solo albums to date as a leader, 'Joe's Strut' being the most recent. He was a winner of the BMI Music Award for television composition and was also the winner of the Gold Disc Award in Japan for his album 'Jumpstart'. On Feb 23, 2012 Michael performed a solo piano concert at the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, as part of their Art Tatum solo piano concert.
What can be said about Mike Clark except that he is a true drum legend! Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock’s group in the early 1970’s. Mike became known as a major innovator through his incisive playing on Hancock’s 'Thrust' album, which garnered him an international cult following. While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk”, Mike considers himself a jazz drummer, and in fact has become one of the most vital to sit behind a set. He's performed with jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, Vince Guaraldi, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Rob Dixon, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Bill Doggett, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Mose Allison, Maxine Brown, Gil Evans and his orchestra and many illuminating artists too numerous to list. Mike is currently putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming solo CD 'Indigo Blue', which features Randy Brecker, Christian McBride, Ron Dixon and Antonio Farao.
Together they bring a combination of swing and groove with a unique deconstructive take on classic jazz, popular standards, and original compositions that creates a freedom in the sound that electrifies their listeners and audiences wherever they play. Since Wolff and Clark, being veterans of so many different directions can, and do, play with anyone, anywhere, defying set boundaries of genre, being able to mingle and mix with a kaleidoscope of changing players is what keeps the music interesting and dynamic. As such, they are excited to present their VIP List Series. On any particular gig, they invite one or several of an impressive roster of colleagues to join them for a night, or a week. Perhaps Steve Wilson, James Genus, Christian McBride, Donald Harrison, Randy Brecker, Wallace Roney, Lenny Pickett, Seamus Blake, etc.
Who knows who might join the call to explore? After all, on an expedition, the possibilities are limitless.
Wolff & Clark Expedition:
Michael Wolff - Piano
Mike Clark - Drums
Daryl Johns - Acoustic Bass
Mark Shim - Alto Sax
Oct. 15, 2012 - 8 PM
New York Culture Center
7 East 15th Street
New York, NY. 10003