It is some jazz musicians' fate to be better known after their death than during their lifetime, a legend today when they were actually overshadowed by others during their prime. Sonny Clark, who died in January 1963 at the age of 31 due to self-abuse, never achieved the headlines of Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck, to name just three more famous pianists from the time.
Blue Note fans have always known about Clark, since he led seven superb albums for the label. Fans of Bud Powell knew that Clark was one of his top disciples, and collectors of Buddy DeFranco's records of the early 1950s were aware of his contributions to the clarinetist's recordings. But to a public that bought Erroll Garner and George Shearing records, Sonny Clark was an unknown name. It was not until after his death that the music world seemed to finally realize what it had lost.
On Leapin And Lopin, his last recording as a leader, Clark, for the first and only time, leads a quintet featuring trumpeter Tommy Turrentine and tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse. The pianist introduces a few of his final originals, takes many sparkling solos, and is heard at the peak of his powers, carving out his place in jazz history. This is timeless music and, although Sonny Clark may have been taken for granted during his life, he is now rightfully considered one of jazz's irreplaceable immortals.
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.See more Sonny Clark records here