Self Trait

by CURTIS CLARK

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    A gorgeous outlier in the FMP catalog, this solo piano album by Curtis Clark traffics in blues and ballads. Clark – who plays with David Murray – mines the African American jazz tradition for his own purposes, unfurling pieces of voluptuous melancholy, sly dissonance, and spiky blues. From an inventive take on Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" to the keening hesitations of "Self Trait," this understated gem offers many moments of unadulterated pleasure.

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about

All compositions by Curtis Clark, except track 3 by Ellington/Mills/Parish.

credits

released May 29, 1985

REVIEWS
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"This solo album by David Murray associate Curtis Clark must be one of the less austere offerings from FMP – and very enjoyable it is, too. All the tracks except 'Sophisticated Lady' are originals, and only the brief 'Life Beneath Rocks' is genuinely free, the others adhering to tonality and/or a regular metre for at least most of their length. 'Bouquet' is the most intriguing. It begins (and ends) with a beautiful out-of-tempo theme statement, but the improvised middle section is reminiscent of Debussy’s 'La Puerta Del Vino' in its habanera feel and free-floating harmonies. Curtis Clark improvises on 'When You Were Here', one of the loveliest ballads I’ve heard in some while, in a rhythmically free fashion. The pieces are mostly slow but this does not imply self-indulgence; and Curtis Clark knows how to get some beautiful sounds out of the piano." - The Wire

Curtis Clark: piano

Recorded by Jost Gebers on November 2nd & 3rd, 1984, during the Total Music Meeting/The Piano Project at Quartier Latin in Berlin.

CD mastering by Olaf Rupp.
Produced by Jost Gebers.

Cover artwork by Margret Wibmer.
Design by Manfred Kussatz.
Photographs by Dagmar Gebers.

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