Clark Sommers’ Ba(SH) “Peninsula”
The Chicago trio made up of bassist Clark Sommers, saxophonist Geof Bradfield, and drummer Dana Hall, have just released their long awaited sophomore album, "PENINSULA." Playing together for over twenty years, Sommer wrote seven new compositions with his colleagues in mind. “I specifically wrote the music for those 2 personalities,” asserts Sommers, “I’ve been playing with them for over 20 years and they’re two of my closest friends and collaborators.”
Recorded in Chicago in the Spring of 2017, Peninsula is the follow up to the trio’s 2013’s critically-acclaimed debut Ba(Sh). Sommers notes “This chord-less trio format presents many possibilities because of the absence of piano/guitar driven harmony. The bass acts as more of an immediate pivot for the harmony and is therefore more open-ended.”
Peninsula is a captivating extension of their debut album. Full of growth and maturity, it focuses on telling tales of loss and personal discovery. The album opens with the driving groove-centric “High-Tide.” Sommers likens the repeated refrains of “High Tide” to the tides of the ocean, and the waltz at the end of the piece depicts the disorientation associated with swimming in a sea of confusion and not-knowing; a statement about our current socio-political climate.
Among other stand out tracks is, “The Forgotten,” an enchanted musical journey depicting loss and rediscovery. It begins with a beautiful counterpoint between an ostinato bass figure and Bradfield’s lilting melodic refrains. The song features Bradfield as a soloist while Sommers and Dana Hall lock into a pulsing groove.
Peninsula is a musical odyssey worth taking the time to listen all the way through. It is now available on your preferred streaming platforms: