“Ice is made of water, but it is colder than water. Blue dye comes from the Indigo plant, but when something is repeatedly dyed in it, the color is deeper than the plant itself.”
The phrase, greater than the sum of its parts, suggests a thing is better than you would expect from the individual parts, because the way they combine adds a different quality. This principle describes the synergy which exists between individuals working together in a cooperative effort. Collectively, they are able to achieve an outcome superior to individual efforts. Of course this concept is exemplified in music, and sometimes the results defy expectation, explanation, or definition.
When legendary drummer Mike Clark was asked to reprise the stellar band he assembled and presented a few months before for an encore at New York’s famous Iridium Club, all felt he had to record it. The alchemy from this particular mix, of these particular musicians, was too exceptional for a Tibetan sand painting, to be a trace in the memories of the players and audience alone.
And so for one remarkable weekend in autumn in New York, the music was captured and recorded. The music speaks for itself.
Mike Clark | Drums
Christian McBride | Bass
Donald Harrison Jr | Alto Saxophone
Rob Dixon | Tenor Saxophone
Randy Brecker | Trumpet
Antonio Ferao | Piano
Remixed and Mastered by Jean-Christophe Santalis @ Raw Recording
Edited and Mixed by Lenny White
Recorded and edited by Gary Meilke
About Mike Clark:
Drum virtuoso and jazz musician Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters in the early seventies. His incisive playing on Hancock’s “Actual Proof” garnered him an international cult following and influenced generations of drummers. His versatility led him to a two-year stint with Brand X, the British jazz/rock fusion band founded by Phil Collins. With them he recorded “Do They Hurt?” and “Product.”
Mike is a co-leader with several other artists. “The Wolff and Clark Expedition 2,” with pianist Michael Wolff, was considered one of Downbeat’s Top 25 releases in 2016. Along with Delbert Bump, he released “Retro Report,” an organ trio CD, in April 2018. He continues to tour with the Headhunters. Venture, Mike’s collaboration with vibraphonist Mark Sherman, saxophonist Chase Baird, and bassist Felix Pastorius, releases “Life Cycle” in May of this year.
The Sacramento, CA native has recorded and toured with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Chet Baker, John Scofield, Nicholas Payton, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Vince Guaraldi, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Albert King, Larry Coryell, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Billy Childs, Jack Walrath, Jack Wilkins, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Chris Potter, Bobby McFerrin, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., and the Gil Evans Orchestra.
Along with James Brown’s drummers Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Stark, Mike’s funk beats with The Headhunters (most notably “God Make Me Funky”) include some of the most sampled in hip hop history.
Mike is a popular and busy clinician. His book Funk Drumming: Innovative Grooves & Advanced Concepts was published by Hal Leonard.
He endorses DW Drums, Istanbul Cymbals, Evans Drum heads, and Innovation Percussion drumsticks. He lives in New York City with documentary filmmaker June Cross.