Randal Clark | Imaginary World Review
By Darnell Jackson
Randal Clark is a contemporary composer, arranger, educator, and concert saxophonist in Salt Lake City. Clark is an in-demand session player for tv, movie, and video games and performs regularly with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with the “Cannonball Band” as a featured soloist and has shared the stage with Gerald Albright, Eric Darius, Elan Trotman, Andrew Neu, Lebron Dennis, and Keith Anderson, to name a few. As a music educator, he has received numerous awards, including The Utah State Office of Education “Sorensen Legacy Award” for Outstanding Music Educator, the Utah High School Activities Association award for “Outstanding High School Music Educator,” Utah Music Educator’s Association (UMEA) award for “Outstanding High School Music Educator,” and the National Band Association “Outstanding Band Educator” and “Outstanding Jazz Educator” award. Clark is now releasing Imaginary World, which has a cast of heavy-hitting musicians joining him. With Jeff Lorber, David Mann, and Scott Kinsey on keyboards, Gerald Albright, Mononeon, and Jimmy Haslip on bass (Jimmy also produced the project), Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Branly, Sonny Emory, and Gary Novak on drums, Michael Thompson, Mike Miller, and Jon Herington on guitars, Randy Brecker on trumpet, and a host of others.
“New Day” is a Clark, Lorber, Toma Loma original composition that features Lorber, Haslip, Novak, and Miller. With a joyous melody and Clark’s bright, focused alto saxophone tone leading the grooving ensemble, this track instantly puts you in a great frame of mind. Clark’s expressive playing has superb melodies, emotional bends, and passionate screams. The bridge relaxes the energy in preparation for the outro chorus in which Clark spins effortless lines of technical brilliance.
“Tiger Lily” features Lorber, Novak, and guitarist Michael Thompson as the ensemble performs the Lorber original with power and groove. The composition blooms with a riffs-based melody augmented with tasty guitar fills. Thompson’s solo is presented with a warmly distorted tone featuring elegant lines. Clark’s solo hits all the emotional power points with quick lines, full upper-register cries, and a building shape. The rhythm section locks in with each other to create a hypnotic rhythm to support this modern creative composition.
Imaginary World is a series of excellent compositions with various ensembles of the best fusion players on the scene today. Clark’s playing is always in the pocket, and his lines shine with power and personality. Imaginary World is an exciting album just waiting to be explored by contemporary jazz lovers.
Label: Music of Content
Release Date: BlueHour Productions