Parts Unknown

Parts Unknown

John McLean / Clark Sommers Band

Label: Origin Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0805558273421
Catalog number: ORIGIN 82734
Releasedate: 07-07-17
"...(McLean has) a sweeping, gorgeous, day-glo tone from his guitar that grabs the ear even in a crowd; once he has your attention, he holds on to it with quick, hard stories perched between street-talk and Olympian pronouncement." 
Each important members of Chicago's jazz scene for two decades, guitarist McLean and bassist Sommers further solidified their musical rapport through touring and recording with vocalist Kurt Elling over the last several years. The seeds of "Parts Unknown" were planted after a Chicago performance of the duo with the dynamic New York vibist Joe Locke. Enlisting Chicago drummer Xavier Breaker, the group ended up recording this set of original, slippery, joyous and eclectic modern jazz gems. "...Clark Sommers plays with a rock-bottom, infectious groove...securely steeped in the jazz tradition." - JAZZ.COM    
John McLean - Jazz guitarist John McLean's 25 year career has included work as a performer; composer; arranger; producer;bandleader,and educator. 

Since completing studies at The Berklee College of Music (B.M.) and the University of Miami (M.M.), Mclean has toured throughout the world performing and recording in a wide variety of musical contexts. He has appeared and recorded with such artists as Kurt Elling; Mose Allison; Dave Douglas; Dr. Lonnie Smith; Patricia Barber; Randy Brecker; Adam Nussbaum; Arthur Blythe, and many more. 

John's latest recording, "Better Angels" features his exciting septet in a program of original music and innovative arrangements of jazz classics. The project reflects McLean's increasing interest in combining jazz improvisation with more elaborate compositional structures and fresh instrumental settings. 

John McLean is currently based in the Chicago area and is on the music faculties of Roosevelt University and North Central College.

Clark Sommers - Straddling a career in both New York City and Chicago, Clark has toured and performed extensively throughout the world sharing bills with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and B.B.King . Clark has been a member of the Dan Cray trio for ten years. He has also had the privilege to perform with Cedar Walton, Kurt Elling, Ernie Watts, Bennie Maupin, Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Frank Wess, Charles McPherson, Peter Bernstein, Lin Haliday, Dana Hall, Jodie Christian, Maurice Brown, Bobby Broom, Jeff Parker, Ron Perrillo, Geof Bradfield, Michael Weiss, George Fludas, Kevin Mahogany, Eden Atwood, Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, The Mighty Blue Kings and The Chicago Jazz Orchestra. 

Clark completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies and World Music at California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with bass masters Charlie Haden and Darek Oles. While living in Los Angeles, Clark performed with Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, the Charlie Haden(conducted by Charlie) Liberation Orchestra, Joe La Barbara, Los Angeles Jazz Quartet, Kris Tiner and Larry Koonse. In June, 2007 Clark received an honorable mention at the International Society of Bassists Convention. He continues to seek expansion of his craft and is currently pursuing classical studies with David Grossman of the New York Philharmonic. 

Clark's most recent touring activity includes extensive work with vocalist Kurt Elling which culminated in to a live recording that won a GRAMMY AWARD for best vocal jazz album in 2009. 

Clark is currently on the faculty at the ArtsWest School for Performing and Visual Arts in addition to the Origin Jazz Institute located in Boise, Idaho. There, he performs regularly with Kobie Watkins, Jeff Baker and Justin Neilsen.