One of the finest pianists and composers of the hard bop era, Sonny Clark seemed to arrive fully formed on his supremely swinging debut album, Dial “S” for Sonny, recorded for Blue Note in 1957. Clark assembled a top-flight sextet for the occasion with Art Farmer on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums.
Clark penned four of the album’s six tunes including the moody, minor title piece, the bright, fleet-footed “Bootin’ It,” the feel-good theme “Sonny’s Mood,” and the sprightly swinger “Shoutin’ on a Riff.” Rounding out the set are two standards: a stunning ballad performance of “It Could Happen To You” with Farmer delivering the opening theme and Fuller closing the piece, both with their warm, full-bodied tones, and the Gershwin tune “Love Walked In,” which is a showpiece for Clark who opens with a solo intro before being joined by bass and drums for a trio performance that lets his inventive style shine.
This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is mono, all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
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