Is this a ‘jazz’ album? Jazz is a reductive term for a music art form that stretches back to the turn of the last century, and includes a huge variety of styles - a common denominator though, is improvisation, and there's quite a lot in these tunes. So for me, yeah, this is a jazz collection (but don't let that put you off).
About the originals of the cover versions:
Follow Your Heart was written by John McLaughlin. I first heard it on his album, Extrapolation, recorded for the Marmalade label just before he left for NYC to play for Miles Davis. If you don't know this recording I really recommend it. It's unlike anything he's done since - raw, emotional and inspiring.
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. The original is on Mingus Ah Um - which is...ah um...totally awesome.
Naima - This beautiful ballad by John Coltrane is from Giant Steps.
Strange Meeting. Bill Frisell wrote this and has recorded it a number of times. The first that I'm aware of is on Rambler (1984). He recorded it again on This Land (1992) - there are other versions. A lovely tune, a surreal tango in C minor from Bill's ECM time. There's an ECM sensibility - great cover art and great music art - that inspired the younger me in East Kilbride and kept me going. I tried to bring something of this feeling to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - honestly, it's there if you listen.
Sweet Rain, by Michael Gibbs who taught Bill Frisell at Berklee. Gary Burton - on whose Berklee course I first heard this - has recorded a number of his compositions. All, I believe, also recorded for ECM.
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released February 22, 2020
Song List - with personnel (yours truly, all guitars and other stuff except drums and bass - Ambrose and Alisdair - where noted).
Naima (drums Ambrose Pottie)
Second Story Sunlight
Follow Your Heart
Black Rock (drums Ambrose Pottie, bass - Alisdair Jones)
Jarman's Garden (drums Ambrose Pottie, bass - Alisdair Jones)
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (drums Ambrose Pottie)
Compositions Neil Clark except: Strange Meeting by Bill Frisell; Naima - by John Coltrane; Follow Your Heart - by John McLaughlin; Black Rock - by Alisdair Jones; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - by Charles Mingus; Sweet Rain by Mike Gibbs.
Thanks to the following who helped with their time, skills, encouragement, and feedback: Theresa McKay, Ambrose Pottie, Alisdair Jones, Lloyd Cole, Terry Odette, Dougie Kelso, Alison Clark, Patricia Pearson, Ragnar Kennerland, Mollie McLean Staffa, Caspar Wijers.