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Carnival of Soul

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Album Review

Mike Clark's funk and jazz drumming is put to the ultimate test on this, his ninth recording as a leader, also showing his prodigious chops in bebop and organ combo soul-jazz. Various bands supply the accompaniment on selected tracks, with organists Jerry Z, Jeff Pittson, or Delbert Bump (a pseudonym?) at the center of the groupings. While not known as a composer, Clark's name does show up on four tracks, with the overall music hefty and fatback or hard swinging and exuberant. Where "T's Boogaloo" might be a signature tune in its hip chunky funk, Clark also enjoys angular melodies as in Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Dream" and the bopping "Turok Son of Stone." Going through continual countermoves of easy swing and fast, furious bop, R&B, or rock, Clark's ever-changing bands provide plenty of fuel for his imagination. Electric guitarist Rez Abbasi is most surprising; known for his ethnic fusion style, here he is squarely in the pocket. Rob Dixon is the constant, as his brawny, developing saxophone sound comes straight out of the Texas tenor tradition. Delbert McClinton even makes a guest appearance, singing the bluesy "Cry Me a River." The drummer turns more heads than normal with a perfect Max Roach imitation before launching into an electrified rip-snorting Head Hunters-like "Catlett Outta the Bag." Where Clark's previous album, Blueprints of Jazz, is a superior item, Carnival of Soul fits nicely with all of the work Clark has done, and further synthesizes his potpourri expertise in many idioms and subgenres of progressive modern jazz. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews


bringin' da funk.......

A futile attempt to achieve a signature sound

Was this album meant to revive the legacy of jazz music with an Organ as part of the band ?
Or is it maybe that through a mixture of styles, all ending shuffled up in either too splashy, or overly rigid grooves and obsolete rhythmic patterns, that the band has tried to appeal to ( I don't know what kind of ) an audience.
Monks tune is as close to straight ahead jazz as this band comes, and the CD features the poorest rendition of "Cry me a river" .
The last tune features the great Lenny White, well known for his elegant fusion drumming with Chick Corea's RTF band, but here, with Mr. Clark, you can't tell which one is more confused.
If the is meant to sound progressive, and "bring the funk" , I suggest to this band to hear Dave Weckl's "Rhythm of the Soul" , which is the real thing.
The only thing accurate on this CD is the title … indeed a Carnival, missing both the head, as well as the "tale" !

Lale Nenadovic,
Miami, 2013


Genre: Jazz

Years Active:

Drummer Mike Clark is well known as the drummer for Herbie Hancock's funk-jazz outfit the Headhunters, and headed up the group after Hancock left to pursue other projects. But Clark goes far beyond playing simple R&B rhythms, becoming one of the more astute contemporary jazz drummers who also writes his own music. Born October 3, 1946, in Sacramento, CA, Clark began his professional career at age six in New Orleans, dipping into blues, soul, and jazz. As a youth, he split time between Texas and Northern...
Full Bio
Carnival of Soul, Mike Clark
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jun 08, 2010

Customer Ratings