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John Clark: I Will

The French horn has made its way in jazz largely on the strength of Gil Evans’ understanding of its potential in coloring his masterful soundscapes. John Clark, who has maintained his chair in both jazz and classical circles for many years, shows here his mastery of the horn in settings inventive and varied. Noteworthy co-conspirators among the dozen players contributing to the rich sounds here include the rhythm section of drummer Bruce Ditmas, Mike Richmond on bass, and Pete Levin on keyboards; Alex Foster on tenor and soprano saxes is in particularly fine form. Coltrane’s “India” comes out of the gate hard, with the full complement giving the sound tangible heft; the selections sometimes pare the ensemble down to a duet-particularly delightful is the trio setting of Rollins’ “Airegin,” setting Clark over Ditmas and Dave Taylor’s bass trombone. The high luster on these recordings is far more than just an illusion of depth.

Originally Published