I Only Just Got Here

by Neil Clark

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Naima 04:43
Black Rock 05:01
Sweet Rain 02:22


Is this a ‘jazz’ album? I really don’t know. Jazz is a reductive term for a a music form that stretches from the turn of the last century to now and includes a huge variety of styles - a common denominator is improvisation and there's quite a lot in these tunes so I guess they qualify. Harmonic colouration comes into it too but then I like to use primary colours with tertiaries - however, that's also common in modern jazz. So yeah, for me, this is a jazz collection.

About the originals of the covers:
Follow Your Heart is called Arjen's Bag on John McLaughlin's Extrapolation, an album I've been listening to since I was 15.

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. The original is on Mingus Ah Um, one of the great jazz albums.

Naima is from John Coltrane's Giant Steps. The well-known, beautiful ballad that co-exists on the same album as the title track. A turning point in the history of jazz.

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, kind of a surreal tango in C minor. This represents ECM Records. The ECM aesthetic was so important for me - sonically, and how Manfred Eicher curated the label but also the artwork which so accurately complimented the music. This ECM sensibility was something I tried to bring to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - it's there if you listen.

Sweet Rain, Michael Gibbs taught Bill Frisell at Berklee. Gary Burton has recorded a number of his compositions. All, I believe recorded for ECM.

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released February 22, 2020

Song List - with personnel:

Strange Meeting
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)
Sweet Rain

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.

This album is dedicated to Joe and Ross.


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Neil Clark Toronto, Ontario

Guitar player with Lloyd Cole, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Currently: Lloyd Cole Guesswork - album and tour.

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