On this Postcards Records album, “John Clark: I Will”, John Clark demonstrates loudly, clearly, and beautifully why he is not only a brilliant Jazz composer, improviser, and orchestrator, but the first-choice French horn player of such legendary musicians as Gil Evans, Billy Joel, B. B. King, McCoy Tyner, Sting, and countless others. The music encompasses orchestral quintet arrangements and smaller group interplay. As always, John Clark’s musical genius shines though, provoking personal introspection amongst listeners and critics lost in the depth of his signature manner.
“4 Stars. …command of a forbidding instrument that speaks a solo language rarely heard in jazz… [Clark] sets ambitious goals… He showcases his gifts as soloist, composer, orchestrator, and instigator… He sets every stage and his solos are revelatory.” – Down Beat Magazine
“Clark has conjured up a mercurial, exciting set. The CD runs the gamut musically – from the ravishing, leisurely title track. …to a feisty take on Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin” and a deeply soulful “My One and Only Love”” – Jazziz Magazine
The music on the album varies from the hard-driving rendition of John Coltrane’s “India” and the humor of “Bad Attitude”, which shows off Clark’s profound rhythmic and harmonic soul, to passionate ballads like the title track, “I Will”. With this CD release from the Postcards label, entitled “John Clark: I Will” the French Horn Jazz maestro showcases his intuitive and visceral soloing, as well as his eclectic taste and harmonious gifts as a player, leader, and composer of a music happily unrestrained by stylistic definition.
“Critic’s Choice “This newest set from progressive jazzman John Clark reaffirms his distinctive and engaging talent and not just in [the] somewhat narrow filed of jazz French horn players.” – Billboard
5. My One and Only LoveGuy B. Wood/Robert Mellin6:54
|1. India||John Coltrane||7:21|
|96th Street Sonata:
3. Mellow Max
4. King Bert
|6. Bad Attitude||7:15|
|7. Now You Start||3:14|
|9. I Will||11:05|
|10. Sister E.M.C.||5:07|
All compositions by: John Clark
John Clark: French horn
Trevor Clark: Sitar (1)
Stanton Davis: Trumpet (1, 6, 7, and 9)
Bruce Ditmas: Drums (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9)
Alex Foster: Sax 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9)
Chris Hunter: Flute and alto sax (1 and 9)
Howard Johnson : Bass clarinet (1 and 9)
Ryo Kawasaki: Guitar (1, 5, 6, and 9)
Pete Levin: Keyboard (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10)
Mike Richmond: Bass
Bob Stewart: Tuba (8)
Dave Taylor: Trombone and bass trombone (1, 6, 7, and 9)
Produced by: Ralph Simon
Executive Producer: Sibyl R. Golden
Total Time: 54:15 minutes
What the Critics Say:
“John Clark.. shows here his mastery of the horn in settings inventive and varied… rich sounds… The high luster on these recordings is far more than just an illusion of depth.” – JazzTimes Magazine
“On his fourth album as a leader, French horn player John Clark showcases his talents as a composer and arranger for a rotating ensemble of up to eleven musicians, including Alex Foster on saxophone, Ryo Kawasaki on guitar, and Howard Johnson on bass clarinet. The eclectic lineup works its way through five Clark originals and three standards, including a rousing large group take on John Coltrane’s “India”, which opens, appropriately enough, with a sitar. Clark’s compositions range from freely improvised duos and trios to more intricately orchestrated pieces for larger groups. The ensemble playing throughout the album is always interesting and frequently inspired.” – Joel Roberts, AllMusic
About John Clark:
John Clark is described as “possibly the most fluent jazz French horn soloist since the great Julius Watkins in the 1950s. He was the winner of the Down Beat Jazz Critics’ Poll for four years.
John Clark was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Rochester, NY. In 1966 he received a B.A. from the University of Rochester, where he also studied French horn with Verne Reynolds at the Eastman School of Music. From 1967 until 1971 he played in the United States Coast Guard Band. Clark received a M.M. degree (with honors) from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1973. He studied composition and improvisation with Jaki Byard, Ran Blake, and George Russell. He taught at SUNY Purchase from 2001 until 2008, subsequently moving to faculty at Manhattan School of Music.
Clark has performed or recorded with a wide variety of musicians, including in jazz: Gary Bartz, Carla Bley, Ornette Coleman, Gil Evans, John Faddis, Johnny Griffin, Dave Grusin, Jim Hall, Jimmy Heath, Leroy Jenkins, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Gerry Mulligan, Jaco Pastorius, Rachel Z, Paquito d’Rivera, John Scofield, Frank Sinatra, Lew Soloff, Spyro Gyra, Toots Thielemans, McCoy Tyner, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Outside of jazz, he has worked with the Aspen Wind Quintet, Ashford and Simpson, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Fugees, Isaac Hayes, Billy Joel, B.B. King, LL Cool J, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, and Sting.