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Softly as in A Morning Sunrise

Sonny Clark

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July 21, 1931 - January 13, 1963


From the 1957 Blue Note LP release "Sonny Clark Trio."


Sonny Clark, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums

Born in the small mining town of Herminie, Pennsylvania, Conrad "Sonny" Clark moved to Pittsburgh with his family when he was twelve.

During a trip visiting relatives in California when he was twenty Sonny decided to stay.

There the young pianist began working with musicians that would include Wardell Gray, Oscar Pettiford, and Buddy DeFranco.

He toured the U.S. and Europe with De Franco from 1953 up to 1956 when he left to join bassist Howard Rumsey's "Lighthouse All-Stars."

In February of 1957 Sonny Clark relocated to New York as an accompanist to singer Dinah Washington where he found steady work as a sideman and recorded frequently for Blue Note.

His best remembered albums include "Dial "S" for Sonny", "Sonny's Crib" with John Coltrane, and "Sonny Clark Trio" featuring Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones all recorded in 1957.

Following Sonny's January 1963 death from heart failure, friend and fellow hard bop pianist Bill Evans dedicated the composition "NYC's No Lark" (an anagram of "Sonny Clark") to him.

The number was featured on Evans' 1963 LP release "Conversations with Myself."

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