By Lee Mergner, JazzTimes

There’s something about jazz musicians from Chicago. A certain physicality mixed with intelligence, as well as a blend of earthiness and urbanity. Bassist Clark Sommers, best known for his tenure with Kurt Elling, fits that prototype of a Chicago jazz musician. Sitting in a café on the Celebrity Infinity during the Jazz Cruise earlier this year, Sommers exuded both muscularity and intellect, banging his coffee cup and gesturing emphatically while talking about his evolution as a bassist and composer. As he sipped his mid-day cappuccino, Sommers talked about how his sound and approach were formed by his relationship with the Chicago jazz musicians of generations past and present, with Charlie Haden (his instructor at California Institute of the Arts), and with Elling (with whom he’s played for the last decade). Read the full feature here.


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