A feast for the ears from Clark Sommers
Sommers has performed on stage and in the studio with the likes of The Chicago Yestet, Jeff Parker, Matt Gold, Darrell Grant, Joe Locke, Gary Versace and many others. He has also led his own ensembles including his open-sky trio Ba(SH) and the quintet, Clark Sommers Lens.
The music on Feast Ephemera reflects on Sommers’ life over the past two decades – such as the love, camaraderie, and solidarity that he shares with his musical colleagues and influencers.
Sommers says he wanted to capture the memories and the experiences that sustained him during the pandemic’s amorphous twilight. To do that, he sought to convey the personalities of the musicians he plays with.
He says it proved easier than he first thought, saying that as the music evolved, he began “hearing” their styles, and connections sprung to his mind.
“I let each composition guide me to whom I thought could best represent it,” he says.
The process, says Sommers, allowed him to access an interior dialogue with absent friends (during Covid-19), but it didn’t stop there.
The final recording turned out to be a collaborative effort none-the-less, due to Sommers’ self-awareness that arranging his own work needed outside guidance.
“I was only three months into my graduate studies. I didn’t know much about arranging then. So I would get on the phone with various people,” he says.
“It was a way for me to stay engaged with these players, and to think about how they could bring this to life. And it became an important driving force for me to finish the piece and just bring these people together to record it.”
…host of the Just Jazz radio show, writer, and occasional voice over artist.