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Cool Music for Hot Weather: Sonny Clark


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Now that wilting temperatures are here—at least in much of the northern hemisphere—Rifftides reader Larry Peterson suggests that Sonny Clark's Cool Struttin’ can bring welcome relief. Clark was a pianist who in a tragically short career attracted a substantial audience. His command of the keyboard and personalization of the style that he developed with Bud Powell as his initial model also earned him the esteem of his peers. Bill Evans created an anagram of Clark’s name as the title one of the compositions in his album Conversations With Myself. “NYC’s No Lark,” recognized the struggle with drugs that led to Clark’s death in 1963 at the age of 32.

“Cool Sruttin’” is the title tune of a timeless album that is a monument to Clark’s talent. The other members of the band are Art Farmer, trumpet; Jackie McLean, alto saxophone; Paul Chambers, bass; and Philly Joe Jones, drums. They recorded this on January 5, 1958.

I hope that, one way or another, you find a way to have a cool summer.

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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