This section is dedicated to the work of John Clare, who began writing in the early 70s, and has long been regarded as the doyen of Australian jazz writers. Helen Garner, in her preface to Clare's book Take Me Higher, describes how she used to cut out his writings under his Gail Brennan pseudonym and paste them into her diary. Originally she thought the articles were written by a woman. She describes his writing as "superbly literate and articulate, deeply informed, yet completely ordinary in tone, even at their most elated. A relaxed freedom flowed through everything he wrote. He was fearless. He rejoices. He celebrated. Years later, an art critic who admired him said to me: John Clare’s an ecstatic.” Many of John Clare's articles that were published previously in various publications are collected here. Click on the INDEX button for a list of articles in this folder.
GRAEME BELL AUSTRALIAN JAZZMAN: HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY
by Graeme Bell
Book review by Gail Brennan/John Clare
Sydney Morning Herald, July 9, 1988
Graeme Bell, often called the father of Australian jazz, does not need a ghost writer — his prose has the cumulative strength of even cadences and transparent simplicity — but he might have benefited from an interrogator. Fear of pretension has actually robbed his autobiography of an important dimension...
JACKSON POLLOCK, MARC HANNAFORD AND OTHER WHIRLING MATTER
by John Clare
www.australianjazz.net, June 19, 2012
Jackson Pollock would throw something down, sometimes directly – splat! – sometimes with a spin, an arabesque of splatter, or splatter-tracked. His canvas was usually large and lay flat on the floor so he could move all around it, pacing, running, stalking, tensely pausing. From then on every stroke, slash, splash, dribble, black calligraphic accent or whirling tangleweed of multi-coloured tracery was in dialogue with what was there already; with that which had just been said, or what had been said before that or the time before that – a dynamic process that some found more gripping than the paintings themselves...
THE ENGINE ROOM BACK FROM THE SOVIET UNION
by Gail Brennan/John Clare
Sydney Morning Herald, December 16, 1989
John Pochée, Roger Frampton and Steve Elphick have played in a number of countries — including India, Poland, Britain and the United States — but something happened to them during their three weeks in the Soviet Union that left them in a state more closely resembling shell shock than jet lag. Three days after their return last week, I spoke to Elphick. "It was very hard," he said. Was it good? "Fantastic”, he said quietly. His eyes wandered…