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Sonny Clark – Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise (sheet music Transcription)

Sonny Clark – Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise (sheet music Transcription)

free sheet music download Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark (Conrad Yeatis Clark, Herminie, Pennsylvania, July 21, 1931 – January 13, 1963) was a jazz pianist who primarily developed the hard bop jazz.

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Clark was born and raised on Herminie. At the age of 12 he moved to Pittsburgh. When he was visiting California at age 20, he decided to stay and start working with saxophonist Wardell Gray. Clark went to San Francisco with Oscar Pettiford, and, within a couple of months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco by 1953. Clark toured the United States and Europe with DeFranco until January 1956, when he joined The Lighthouse All- Stars, orchestra from The Lighthouse Cafe[2] in Hermosa Beach conducted by double bassist Howard Rumsey.

Wishing to return to the East Coast, Clark escorted singer Dinah Washington in February 1957 to relocate to New York City. There, Clark was often required as an accompanist by many musicians.

Sonny Clark frequently recorded for Blue Note Records playing sideman for many hard bop musicians including Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor, and Wilbur Ware. He also recorded sessions with Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Billie Holiday, Stanley Turrentine, and Lee Morgan.

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As a bandleader, he recorded these albums:

Dial ‘S’ for Sonny (1957).

Sonny’s Crib (1957).

Sonny Clark Trio (1957), with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.

Cool Struttin (1958).

Sonny Clark Trio, with George Duvivier and Max Roach, published in 1960.

Clark died of a heart attack in New York City.1 Some commentators attribute his early death to drug and alcohol abuse.

His friend Bill Evans dedicated to the deceased a composition titled with an anagram of his name: NYC’s No Lark (No lark in New York, taking the lark as a symbol of dawn); the piece was published on the album Conversations with Myself (1963).

John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond and Bobby Previte, renamed The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet, recorded an album of Clark compositions: Voodoo (1985). Zorn also recorded several of Clark’s compositions with Bill Frisell and George Lewis on the albums News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1992).

Close friend and fellow jazz pianist Bill Evans dedicated the composition “NYC’s No Lark” (an anagram of “Sonny Clark”) to him after his death, included on Evans’ Conversations with Myself (1963). John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond, and Bobby Previte recorded an album of Clark’s compositions, Voodoo (1985), as the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. Zorn also recorded several of Clark’s compositions with Bill Frisell and George E. Lewis on News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1992).


As band leader:
  • Oakland, 1955 (1955), Uptown
  • Dial “S” for Sonny (1957), Blue Note
  • Sonny’s Crib (1959), Blue Note
  • Sonny Clark Trio (1957), Blue Note
  • Sonny Clark Quintets (1957), Blue Note
  • Cool Struttin’ (1958), Blue Note
  • Standards (1958), Blue Note
  • My Conception (1959), Blue Note
  • Sonny Clark Trio (1960), Time/Bainbridge
  • Leapin’ and Lopin’ (1961), Blue Note
As sideman

With Buddy DeFranco:

  • In a Mellow Mood (1954)
  • Cooking the Blues (1955)
  • Autumn Leaves (1956)
  • Sweet and Lovely (1956)
  • Jazz Tones (1956)
    • With Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse:
  • Mexican Passport (1956)
  • Music for Lighthousekeeping (1956)
  • Oboe/Flute (1956)
    • With Serge Chaloff:
  • Blue Serge (1956)
    • With Hank Mobley:
  • Poppin’ (1957)
  • Hank Mobley (1957)
  • Curtin Call (1957)
    • With Lou Donaldson:
  • Lou Takes Off (1957)
    • With Johnny Griffin:
  • The Congregation (1957)
    • With John Jenkins
  • John Jenkins with Kenny Burrell (1957)
    • With Clifford Jordan:
  • Cliff Craft (1957)
    • With Curtis Fuller:
  • Bone & Bari (1957)
  • Curtis Fuller Vol. 3 (1957)
  • Two Bones (1958)
    • With Tina Brooks:
  • Minor Move (1958)
    • With Lee Morgan:
  • Candy (1958)
  • With Louis Smith:
  • Smithville (1958)
  • With Benny Green:
  • Soul Stirrin’ (1958)
  • The 45 Session (1958)
  • Bennie Green Swings the Blues (1959)
    • With Jackie McLean:
  • Jackie’s Bag (1959)
  • A Fickle Sonance (1961)
  • Vertigo (1962)
  • Tippin’ the Scales (1962)
    • With Grant Green:
  • Gooden’s Corner (1961)
  • Nigeria (1962)
  • Oleo (1962)
    • With Dexter Gordon:
  • Go (1962)
  • A Swingin’ Affair (1962)
    • With Ike Quebec
  • Easy Living (1962)
    • With Stanley Turrentine
  • Jubilee Shout!!! (1962)
    • With Don Wilkerson:
  • Preach Brother! (1962)

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