Mike Clark, legendary drummer and former member of Herbie Hancock's band, The Headhunters delivers his signature sound on Actual Proof with funky, organic passion. Clark is joined by saxophonist Bennie Maupin, Jed Levy on tenor saxophone, Tim Ouimette on trumpet and flugelhorn, Ted Trimble on acoustic bass, guitarist Charlie Hunter, Kevin Burrell on percussion, on 11 tracks that feature rousing instrumentals and hot driving rhythms. Opening the set with the invigorating "Stingers," Clark illustrates his amazing range of drum mastery behind a soulful tenor saxophone solo by Jed Levy and the B string guitar wizardry of Charlie Hunter. The highlight of this great CD is "Aristide" with its great soprano saxophone showcase by Bennie Maupin and Clark's mighty workout that features his musical ideas of rhythm, composition, syncopation, technique and expression all in one great solo. This program transcends stylistic boundaries: Clark's as comfortable playing downbeat jazz as he is with organic funk and fusion. Actual Proof is an upbeat take on Clark's perceptive and illuminative drumming style and his thoughts on jazz drumming are clearly linked to his influential days with Herbie Hancock.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein