May 4th, 2013: Pointing Fingers… And Naming Names
by Jack Bowers, for the Big Band Report (

“In an area of the country that is suddenly awash in blue-chip big bands, Joe Clark has interposed an emphatic new voice that should be heard.”

April 5th, 2013: CD Reviews – April 2013
By Tim Willcox, for the Jazz Society of Oregon

“Another pleasant large-ensemble surprise this month is the new recording by Chicago arranger and composer Clark…“Lush” not only serves as a vehicle to introduce us to Clark’s arranging prowess, but also as an introduction to some of of Chicago’s finest instrumentalists who are probably not well known outside of that city.”

April 4th, 2013:  Cole Porter tribute offers triumphs and missed opportunities
By Howard Reich, for the Chicago Tribune (Reprinted in the L.A. Times)

“…(Kurt Elling) also finessed Joe Clark’s exquisitely detailed new arrangement of George Gershwin’s ‘I’ve Got a Crush on You,’ played by the Spektral Quartet (considering the luster of the instrumentals, one could forgive the brief departure from the evening’s Porter theme).”

March 15th, 2013: CD/LP/Track Review Joe Clark Big Band featuring Jeff Hamilton: Lush (2013)
By Nicholas F. Mondello, for

“According to a Carl Sandburg poem, Chicago is “the city of big shoulders.” There’s a unique strength about Chicago that’s different than New York or Los Angeles. Might it be suggested, therefore, that players emanating from the Windy City might also carry a bit more muscle, swagger and workmanlike focus? Perhaps.”

March 14th, 2013: Lush – Joe Clark Big Band, featuring Jeff Hamilton
By Pierre Giroux

“A new band in the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra tradition.”

March 1st, 2013: Review
By Joe Lang, for Jersey Jazz 

“Graham Carter’s Jazzed Media label has been one of the leading sources in recent years for outstanding big band recordings.  Lush…is the latest winner from the label.”

February 15th, 2013: FAME Review: Joe Clark Big Band – Lush
By Mark S. Tucker, for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

“Oh hell yeah! This is big band music with a highly cinematic feel, muscle, blood, and neon lights blaring at midnight.”

February 5th, 2013: Volume 37/Number 96
By Chris Spector, for Midwest Record Review

“… this is what the big band muso has been hungry for.  A winner throughout.”

February 7th, 2013: LUSH: The Joe Clark Big Band Featuring Jeff Hamilton
By Steven Cerra, for Jazz Profiles

“No jumbled mass of sound, Joe’s writing allows melodic lines to play out; it doesn’t sound rushed or cluttered. With Jeff stoking the fire in the band’s engine room, Joe’s arrangements keep things simple and allow the band to pulsate under Jeff’s rhythmic guidance. His charts follow a distinctive, linear logic with the result that they produce a rush of excitement which can only come from big band Jazz when it is performed by musicians who listen to one another and jell as a unit.”

“Good big band music doesn’t get old. Lush is big band music as good as it gets.”