RANDAL CLARK — Stargazer (review)

RANDAL CLARK — Stargazer album cover Album · 2022 · RnB Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Carmel
Randal Clark is a contemporary Salt Lake City-based alto saxophonist and composer. Clark's dynamic playing crosses elements of jazz and smooth jazz to form a sophisticated fusion sound that is pleasing and based on groove. Clark's latest album, Stargazer, is the altoist leading various bands of fusion icons Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip, Randy Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, Paul Jackson Jr., Nick Kellie, Michael Thompson, David Mann, Oliver Leiber, and Scott Kinsey. "Pivot" is a funk-filled exploration of groove and melody. Clark leads an ensemble of Jeff Lorber on keyboards, David Mann on saxophones and flute, Jimmy Haslip on bass, Jimmy Branly on percussion, and Gary Novak on drums. Clark's playing on this Lorber original is expressive as his technique and lyricism combine to form powerful phrases. The groove is maintained as the composition flows through several riff-based melodies. Clark's improvisational style is one of energy and a beautiful tone to form colorful and musical lines. "All About It" is given a easy-going funk groove. Clark's alto saxophone sits perfectly above the ensemble of Jeff Lorber on keyboard, Kenji Aihara on guitar, Alec and Tara Clark on trumpets, Howard Summers on trumpet, David Mann on saxophone and flute, Jimmy Haslip on bass, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. Haslip and Colaiuta keep the song's motion moving forward as the horn adds many colors hits to the melody. Clark's soloing is tasteful and melodic as he expresses his methodology of building an organic and meaningful solo. Haslip also performs a musically defined solo. Stargazer has much to offer in its fusion-based smooth jazz appeal. Clark is a very expressive player, and everything he plays has heart and flow. Each composition gives the listener an opportunity to enjoy the music and its cornucopia of sounds. Each musician that performs on the album is equally masterful, and together they create a joyful aesthetic for the overall project sound, which is a beautiful musical experience.

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