Mike Clark’s latest release, Carnival of Soul, pays tribute to a jazz genre close to the drummer’s heart: B3 organ trios.
“In my early 20s, I had my own organ trio gig in a jazz club for half a dozen years,” Clark recalls. “I always loved playing the music because the B3 is such a strong instrument with a big sound; it frees the drums to just play all out. I also did a lot of organ gigs when I first came to New York in the ’80s. It’s not the setting where I’ve done most of my jazz playing but I wanted to record an homage to this unique genre that I love so much. I got together some truly fantastic musicians—most of us go way back—and we just had a whole lot of fun.”
Clark signed to Al Hall’s Owl Studios late last year, and Carnival of Soul, a collection of jazz/funk tracks released on June 10, marks his debut outing for the label. In addition to Clark on drums, the album features Jerry Z, Delbert Bump and Jeff Pittson on organ, Steve Homan and Rez Abbasi on guitar, Delbert McClinton on vocals, Tim Ouimette on trumpet, Lenny White on drums, Kevin McKendree on piano, Owl Studios artist Rob Dixon on tenor sax and others.
Clark regularly tours the United States, Europe and Asia, heading up his organ trio or performing as a sideman. An initial round of U.S. dates in support of Carnival of Soul have been confirmed for June. In addition to his straightahead performances, Clark is known for making regular appearances at band camps, colleges and drum shops as a clinician and jazz musician/expert.
Upcoming dates include:
June 16: Jazz at the Point, Eagle Creek Park, Indiana
June 17: The Redmoor, Cincinnati, Ohio
June 19: CHOPS Percussion Clinic, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 19: The Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 20: JB’s Lounge, Sacramento, California
For more information, go to www.mikeclarkmusic.com.
Photo credit: Scott Liken