Peripatetic bassist Clark Sommers plays with a rock-bottom, infectious groove; communicates his personality through his playing, and is securely steeped in the jazz tradition.
With a chemistry forged over 15 years of playing together in many different musical configurations, the Chicago-based trio of bassist Clark Sommers, saxophonist Geof Bradfield and drummer Dana Hall have developed a trust and intuitiveness that yields high levels of creative spontaneity. Drawing from their many diverse influences, Ba(SH) is alternately raw and elegant, while always riveting, as they explore a set of eight modern jazz originals plus readings of Billy Higgins' "Inga," and Monk's "Think of One."
A solid fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, Clark Sommers also tours and records with vocalist Kurt Elling. He appears on Elling's 2009 Grammy-Award winning recording, Dedicated to You.
1. Garrison 5:12
2. Momentary Flux 6:29
3. Quanah 8:04
4. Fathom-A-Ning 6:06
5. On Meditation 5:00
6. IO 5:21
7. Inga 8:16
8. Trillium 2:55
9. Llano Estacado 6:55
10. Think of One 6:37
Produced by Clark Sommers
Recorded by Scott Steinman at Studio Media, Evanston, IL
December 1-2, 2012
Mixed & mastered by Bryan Farina at SoundBry Studios, Chicago, IL
Bradfield photo by Shawn Michelle Smith
Clark photo by John Broughton
Dana photo by Jacob Hand
Cover image by Laurin Rinder
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
There's something quite "free" about a trio without a guitar or piano in the mix, with no chords nailing the sound down. Seattle's Origin Records has a history of offering up excellent saxophone/bass/drums outings: bassist Jeff Johnson's Near Earth (2004) and Free (2000), and drummer John Bishop's Nothing If Not Something (2006). Now three ve ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
In his day job, he might be the bass playing sidekick of Kurt Elling, but after hours, he's now in his 15th year with this progressive jazz trio also featuring Dana Hall and Geof Bradfield. Playing with the simpatico that keeps you together for so long without getting sick of each other, this is a BYG trip to the church basement that knows no marg ...
Chicago Tribune (Howard Reich)
Bassist Sommers has been an increasingly busy figure in Chicago and beyond for more than a decade, and here he makes his belated recording debut as bandleader. Throughout, Sommers puts the emphasis on the music, rather than himself, creating a welcoming environment for colleagues Geof Bradfield on reeds and Dana Hall on drums (hence the title of th ...
Chicago Reader (Peter Margasak)
Over the past decade Clark Sommers has emerged as one of Chicago's finest bassists, lending myriad bands an agile but hefty center of gravity and a muscular, propulsive kick. For his first recording under his own name, he leads a trio with drummer Dana Hall and reedist Geof Bradfield, two players who've worked with him on and off in many settings ...
Downbeat Magazine (Michael Jackson)
****(4-stars) The Chicago triumvirate conflates the initials of its members--reedist Geof Bradfield, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Dana Hall--adding an extra lower case vowel (and parentheses) for onomatopoeic effect. The name represents the trio's chamber aesthetic "sh" and sporadic aggressiveness: "bash." Though it might also suggest ...
All About Jazz (C. Michael Bailey)
The spirit of Thelonious Monk abounds on bassist Clark Sommers' Ba(SH). Monk's music is magnetically drawn to odd formats like this saxophone trio, sporting Geof Bradfield on reeds and Dana Hall on drums. There is no tether in this music; all participant are free in the most free sense. The recital hold together well, with Bradfield's intricate ...