The piano trio material included in this Japanese reissue, along with another session from late 1958 (see The Art of the Trio, aka "The 45 Sessions"), constitutes a body of work which was never released in LP format during Sonny Clark's tragically short life. Clark was an underrated master of the hard bop genre who had a very subtle, artful touch. On this date, he exhibits the influence of Ahmad Jamal and Red Garland (a lighter sound) and less of the Bud Powell-inspired, hard-driving bebop lines. This material was intended for jukebox release in 45 format. The arrangements are simple and concise; the tunes are all well-known standards. Sonny's conception is quite accessible -- relaxed tempos and blues-inflected improvisations. His chord voicings and harmonies are exquisite on "I Cover the Waterfront," "Somebody Loves Me," "Dancing in the Dark," and Cole Porter's "All of You." The recording in many ways presages the Three Sounds' approach to a tightly organized, commercially affable piano trio concept. This material is also included in Blue Note's 1998 domestic Sonny Clark release entitled Standards.
AllMusic Review by Lee Bloom