Randal Clark, Stargazer Review
Randal Clark is a Salt Lake City-based alto saxophonist in demand as both a classical and jazz performer and has appeared at numerous jazz festivals and concerts around the country as a featured performer, as well as releasing albums as a leader. His latest album as a leader is called Stargazer, on which he is joined once again by music icons Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip, Randy Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, Paul Jackson Jr., Nick Kellie, Michael Thompson, David Mann, Oliver Leiber, Scott Kinsey and many more.
Keyboardist Jeff Lorber wrote two of the eleven tracks, and Clark and Lorber co-wrote five together. Clark’s excellent alto saxophone tone and strong playing bring Lorber’s compositions to life. “Firebrand” and “Pivot” have that classic Lorber funky vibe with Clark’s style bringing it to life and making for an enjoyable listen.
When Lorber and Clark write together, the result is a composition with a groove, a strong melody, interesting harmonic devices, and a solid form. Two examples are “All About It” and “Wait a Minute.” Both of these selections also feature the big bass sounds of Jimmy Haslip.
As a soloist, Clark has a playful energy and an organic manner in which he builds his solos with activity and space. His articulation and use of glissandos, trills, and multi-phonics are also significant to his style.
Another enjoyable aspect of Stargazer is its different style and various ensembles of unique fusion and smooth jazz players. All of which understand and convey a time feel that is contagious and in the pocket.
Overall, Stargazer has a collection of outstanding compositions and playing. Though each selection contains different players, all involved speak the same musical language and perform passionately. Clark is an impressive soloist and bandleader and one that should be in your contemporary jazz collection. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Randal Clark: Website |
August 5, 2022