Walter Clark | Many Splendid Things

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Johnny Mathis Michael Franks Nat King Cole

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Many Splendid Things on iTunes Many Splendid Things (Latest version) at Amazon Many Splendid Things on Facebook Many Splendid Things Website

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JAPAN

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Jazz: Crossover Jazz Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals Moods: Type: Lo-Fi
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Many Splendid Things

by Walter Clark

Walter Clark's “Many Splendid Things” CD is truly what the title suggests. Its well thought out, warm and smooth without being boring. His chord voicing and arrangements truly compliment his silky smooth voice. Listen to this CD, you wont be disappointed!
Genre: Jazz: Crossover Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sweet Lorraine
2:20 $0.99
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2. The Very Thought of You
4:33 $0.99
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3. Tennessee Waltz
6:11 $0.99
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4. Stardust
6:31 $0.99
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5. Fly me to the Moon
3:34 $0.99
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6. We're All Alone
5:37 $0.99
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7. The Nearness of You
4:44 $0.99
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8. Autumn Leaves
4:05 $0.99
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9. The Days of Wine and Roses
3:49 $0.99
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10. What a Wonderful World
4:59 $0.99
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11. I Left my Heart in San Francisco
6:24 $0.99
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12. Love is a Many Splendored Thing
4:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Brief Biographical Information and Interview.


Born in Brooklyn, New York,


Pianist, singer, and multiple keyboard player appearing in some of the finest hotels, night clubs, restaurants, and cruise ships in America and the Far East since 1980 with a repertoire of over 500 songs Covering music that has a positive message timelessness and staying power. Although Walter usually performs as a One Man Band, using grand piano, multiple keyboards and drum machine, he shuns the use of sequencers and prerecorded backgrounds. “I prefer to do everything Live, because it is more exciting and natural and I can change my arrangements every night to fit the atmosphere and keep it interesting fresh and original."
With a distinctly unique heartwarming voice and smooth natural style, through a wide variety of musical genres and original arrangements Walter imbues every performance with a jazz ambiance, delivering relaxing renditions of ballads and love songs. Often called "the singer with the bedroom voice," he covers music that has a positive message timelessness and staying power.
"Many Splendid Things," is a jazz fusion collection of uniquely arranged standards. Often a regular performer at the Ritz Carlton, and currently St Regis Hotel in Osaka Japan, he occasionally teaches, lectures on human rights and works with juvenile delinquents in the Japanese school system. “During regular performance I play many styles of music but my aim in producing this CD is to showcase a few of my favorite standard tunes for the enjoyment of the more adult listeners. Its very difficult doing a CD in which you have to actually play all the parts, but Prince had to do it to get his foot in the door, so for now, that's the drill."

To be perfectly honest with you, I am probably not what one would call a pure jazz player. I'm a lounge player who happens to play a lot of jazz...as well as many other things. It is an album of standards but part of my style is just to present music in different lights and genres. My preference is to make the emotional quality of music more important than technical aspects. I did, however, my best to faithfully serve the original writers of the songs.


My goal as an artist is to create music that is healing, in whatever form possible.

Walter Clark first began his musical study in Philadelphia at the age of 5. “Long before I was old enough to go to school, my earliest influence was Nat King Cole. I'll never forget the sound of his music, and the warm and special experience of watching 'The Nat King Cole Show' on TV."


What was your aim in producing this new CD?



"After the success of the last CD, 'Perfect Love,' which was ...like a pop-jazz-dance-gospel fusion project, there was a huge demand for me to do an album of standards. My aim in producing 'Many Splendid Things,' is to showcase a few of my favorite standard tunes, and give fans more songs, better quality recording, and a great performance."




What musical instruments were used on this album and how was it recorded?


"The basic core is piano bass and vocals, all recorded live and in real time. But there's plenty of flute, sax and guitar as well as some light string orchestration. And Andre Black came over and laid down a couple of nice trumpet solos."



When you listen to the totality of it, its still hard to believe that this album was done by one man.
Have you always been solo performer?

"Not at all. Its just something I evolved into. Partly the result of me wanting to do things my way. Once I get an idea about how something should be done I don't like to compromise. I just take it for granted that others will either help me do it or leave me alone to do it myself. This album has just been released but already a lot of people have listened to it, people who Know me... and they still came back and asked if I did it all myself. I guess its because the voicing and the instruments have very distinctive and different personalities. Anyway, it makes me feel good, because it lets me know I have accomplished my goal, which was in this album to create the image of a smooth combo that works well together and compliment each other. But that's part of what you do every night as a one man band. You kind of put your personality on the back burner and let the instrument play itself like it wants to be heard. The message of each song is the driving force, the instruments express themselves, and the player facilitates things."




You mentioned Nat King Cole.
Who were some of your other musical influences?



"Miles, Monk and the classics and opera as I was growing up. I liked to listen to Motown, The Beatles and pop music. One day I heard Ramsey Lewis' version of 'The IN Crowd,' and decided I wanted to learn to play like that, so I started teaching myself jazz. I met Edgar Brown, who was a DJ at Temple University's jazz radio station in Philadelphia. He gave me an album. It was John Coltrane's 'Favorite Things.' Listening to what Coltrane and the piano player were doing on the title cut seemed to open the door to a whole new world for me. Of course the piano player turned out to be McCoy Tyner.

Then, in the early 70's, when I had all but given up on a musical career, I met John Lennon, and he encouraged me not to quit. He was a big inspiration to me, and even more so after he died. Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Sade, George Duke, Hiroshima, Anita Baker, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, The Whispers, Lou Rawls, Louis Armstrong... Its a long list. Quincy Jones. was a huge influence. He heard one of my demo tapes late in the 80's and encouraged me to do some international traveling, in order to expand my horizons. And that's how I came to live in Japan."



And what's that like?



"Interesting. But then again, my interest in Japan started at a young age. In my pre-teens I studied judo from a Japanese sensei in Philadelphia. Then later in college I took up an interest in Japanese cooking. So when the gig in Japan came up, I jumped at the chance to see the country. The Japanese audiences' level of sophistication, respect and knowledge of jazz here was a big surprise to me. Living here is a lot of hard work, but its peaceful, clean, safe and quiet, and I love the food."




What are some of your goals as an entertainer?


"Constant Improvement.
To serve my audience.... Truth and Beauty."
"As an entertainer, there's a certain joy that comes when you hit a tune and see the faces of your audience light up with recognition and pleasure. When I give folks that feeling every night, I know I'm doing my job right. And I'm sure that this album will bring warmth and light into the hearts of all who hear it."



Walter Clark's “Many Splendid Things” CD is truly what the title suggests. Its well thought out, warm and smooth without being boring. His chord voicing and arrangements truly compliment his silky smooth voice. Listen to this CD, you wont be disappointed!
Sincerely,
IMANI-International producer,arranger, studio musician and performer, who has toured with such stars as:

Ray Parker Jr.
Cheryl Lynn
Phil Perry
Chante Moore
Keith Washington
Wendy Moten
Greg Phillingaines
and been a studio musician for such artists and writers as:

Martha Reeves
Anita Baker
Keith Washington
Wendy Moten
Barrett Strong

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Reviews


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Debony Heart

Mellow Manner, Rational Cool.
This CD produced in Japan by resident pianist and synthesizer Walter Clark offers many moods. "Sweet Lorraine" bops along with a crisp up beat and a smooth croon. It's nice to hear the love enunciated as Nat King Cole would approve. Opening chords of "The Very Thought Of You" deepen the mood with a dose of warm horn. Strong vocal delivery adds conviction and Walter provides just enough of a waver to convey uncertainty, or is it despair? I like that this one ends on a positive note. I feel steadied while he leads me in a "Tennessee Waltz" to a moody minor key and a decidedly Western gait. "Stardust" softens the romance with a virtual walk in the moonlight, romantic guitar, and violins. Walter's ardent crescendo is never over the top, just right. "Fly Me to the Moon" swings on a dance beat that maintains its energy through an extended conclusion. There are plenty of dance-able numbers on this album: one imagines an easygoing crowd of cool customers, hand dancing the night away and taking care of business. Walter makes rain and thunder sound comforting in his lovely rendition of "We're All Alone." Naturalistic effects fit right in with "What a Wonderful World." Subtle strings cushion transition to a live horn solo that adds body just where we like it. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this collection is the crispness of tempo with which Walter accompanies several beautiful melodies. Hearing these favorites delivered straightforwardly is a welcome relief. Walter Clark takes us back to an era of suave mellow manners and philosophical rationality where we appreciate our splendid existence in a manageable world.
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Joe Przygodzinski

A visit with some "oldie" friends
Often when an artist arranges an old favorite and bends it to his own style some will almost take it as an act of blasphemy! I thought that Walter's renditions were a chance to visit with some old friends who are now more mature and mellower with their age. I have a 62 mile round trip to my office and back and I am usually blasting Foghat, Foreigner or the Kinks. My wife has to turn a deaf ear to my singing along and shaking the car as we drive along. When this CD arrived I inserted it and she immediately sat up saying "hey I like this, it is soothing after a hard day at retail". She requested it the next day and the day after. I was riding with a friend who is a jazz pianist though he is 80 now and no longer plays. He said can I borrow that. I haven't gotten it back yet! He said he took it to his doctor's office and asked him to play it for the waiting room crowd. No complaints there and the doctor's receptionist said if I come in next week Wednesday they will return it. With the exception of Lorraine (the first track) most are great for a nice after dinner sit, looking out at the Pacific, sipping a great Spanish wine and watching the twilight give way to the stars. I am starting to feel like I have discovered greatness and it is my own little secret. I want my CD back and I am not sure if I will be passing it around anymore. I Plan to buy another. I hope Walter will find a few musicians who can cut it and then he can orchestrate while he is recording. I am so excited to think what the sound would be like from a bass fiddle and some percussion that really feels. Speaking of feeling===>The ending of Tennessee Waltz nearly brought me to tears. I don't think anyone has ever grasped the sadness in the lyrics and I could picture the vocalist reliving the painful moment when he realized he was deprived of her love forever.
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