Conrad Yeatis Clark, 21 July 1931, Herminie, near Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 13 January 1963, New York City, New York, USA. An underrated piano genius of the hard-bop era, Clark cast a glorious ray of sunshine over some of the Blue Note Records labels most memorable sessions. Art Tatum, one of his childhood heroes, and Count Basie, whose big band radio broadcasts were a popular feature of his youth, are two pianists whose influence can be heard in his minimal and understated style. However, his succinct and melodic approach drew as much from wind players as other pianists, his left hand providing the barest of occasional accompaniments, while he stressed instead an elegant and sophisticated single note approach. He moved to the west coast in the early 50s, and soon began working with saxophonist Vido Musso and bass player Oscar Pettiford. Throughout the mid-50s, he was an active element of the west coast scene, touring with clarinettist Buddy De...
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