Clark Sommers – Feast Ephemera (ENG review)

Irabbagast Records - Street Date October 15th 2023
Clark Sommers – Feast Ephemera

We primarily know the bassist Clark Sommers as an accompanist to the singer Kurt Elling, but he has also developed a long personal career with 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 trio Ba(SH) and the quintet Clark Sommers Lens. Clark speaks about this new creation: “I wanted to delve deeper into composition,’ Sommers stated. ‘I wanted to see what I could do if I had the ability to add more texture to a group, explore the harmonic possibilities more deeply, and spread the sounds using different instruments.”
Certainly, yes, here the pieces that make up this album, for a large ensemble, combine both beautiful melodic and rhythmic work and a true sonic exploration, served by excellent artists. ‘Feast Ephemera Features’ includes Clark Sommers-compositions/arrangements & bass, Dana Hall-drums, Nick Mazzarella-alto saxophone, Geof Bradfield-bass clarinet, soprano & tenor saxophones, Chris Madsen-tenor saxophone, John Wojciechowski-C & alto flutes and alto saxophone, Tito Carrillo, Russ Johnson-trumpet, Joel Adams, Andy Baker-trombone, Stu Mindeman-piano/keyboards, Scott Hesse-guitar.
The work on the brass is remarkable, albeit very classic, it provides them with great energy, sometimes perplexing but always refreshing. It’s impossible to ignore the feeling of being at the heart of a film score, even though it’s not the case. You get carried away by this pleasant album, although it can be a bit too homogeneous at times, making some tracks sound similar. So, you turn your attention to the arrangements, which offer their share of surprises.
Bayou Blue Radio and Paris Move both highlight this album as their current favorite due to the complexity of the compositions and the quality of the arrangements. However, we found ourselves a bit bored while listening to this album, which is perhaps a matter of personal taste.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 16th 2023


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