Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Most folks who know me know that I am a huge fan of pianist and composer, Sonny Clark. Clark's heyday as a bebop and hard bop pianist was between 1953 and 1962. Clark played with many of the great jazz musicians of the fifties and sixties including Max Roach, Wardell Gray, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, "Philly" Joe Jones, Lee Morgan and Sonny Rollins. Sonny Clark was known for his lean and melodic right hand and for being one of the hardest swinging pianist of his day.

Over the years, I've been able to acquire every recording Clark made as a leader and many of the recordings where he's featured as a sideman. Some of my favorites are Candy, Go!, The Sound of Sonny, Tippin' The Scales and the Grant Green sessions. So when I come across a jazz reference book or click on a music/video web site, usually, the first artist I search for is Sonny Clark.

I came across PureVideo the other day while scrolling through the Read/Write Web blog. PureVideo, according to Richard MacManus, founder and editor of Read/Write Web is "a search engine for video and an associated portal frontpage, which lists popular videos at destinations such as YouTube and"

I thought this was an important find because over the last month, I've been encouraging all of the ninth grade students to take advantage of the slew of free, web based photo, video and audio editors available online- namely flickr, jumpcut, eyespot and Audacity.

Important lessons can be learned by watching, producing and publishing multimedia projects. One very important lesson to be learned is how to match images and audio together so that they seamlessly complement each other. That is what I am expecting all ninth grade students to do this semester- complement your narrative tracks seamlessly with your images and video.

Check out this video I found on the PureVideo web site. As big a Sonny Clark fan as I am, you can imagine my surprise when I entered a search for Sonny Clark and found this video by 60otaku. But before you watch the video, please read the biographical sketch of Clark from the Hard Bop Homepage. After you read the bio sketch, watch the video. Do the images complement the music seamlessly? From what you read about Clark, would you have chosen a different sequence of visuals? How would you have complemented this musical sequence?

The video is over 10 minutes in length. I'm sure you would much rather listen to Three Six Mafia ft. 8-Ball, MJG and Young Buck - Stay Fly, so I've selected just a three minute passage for you to consider and critique.


Let the entire video load fully in your browser then move the slider to the 4:51 mark to begin. End at the 1:38 mark. (The time meter runs backwards)

Please send me your feedback and suggestions via Google Docs or produce a response using jumpcut, eyespot and Audacity.
Lively up your text by using hyperlinks and relative vocabulary words from the Glossary of Jazz Terms.

Playing with Sonny Clark on this recording is Donald Byrd (trumpet), Paul Chambers (bass), Jackie McLean (alto saxophone), and "Philly" Joe Jones (drums).

H. Songhai


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