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.
BURROWS AND MORRISON: A RETROSPECTIVE ON A GREAT JAZZ PARTNERSHIP
John Clare reviews two CDs
Music Trust website, June 2, 2017
When I returned to Sydney from Melbourne at the end of the 1950s Don Burrows was for me the personification of Sydney. Born at Bondi, he was athletic, good looking, confident, a beach lover, cheerful and clean cut. He played members of the flute and saxophone family with exemplary facility, fluency and precision. He was right, energised and never short of a note or well turned phrase in his solos…
LOST IN THE STARS: INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ZODIAC SUITES OF MARY LOU WILLIAMS AND KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (JAZZHEAD HEAD168)
John Clare reviews an album from the Allan Browne Trio
Australianjazz.net, Thursday, November 28, 2013
Mary Lou Williams was almost certainly the first major female jazz piano stylist. She also wrote accomplished arrangements for Benny Goodman and Andy Kirk (and His Clouds Of Joy), amongst others. Karlheinz Stockhausen was one of the first to move in a new modernist direction related to ‘serial music’ (in turn a highly systematised approach to atonality)…
BEYOND THE BASEMENT: A GUIDE TO SYDNEY’S JAZZ
by Gail Brennan/John Clare
Sydney Morning Herald, May 14, 1993
Surfing Simon has a positively luminous masculine beauty. He arrives on his skateboard, in a skirt and with his fingernails painted deep red. Two of his girlfriends are waiting for him. At the bar are some skinhead friends of drummer Louis Burdett. A publicist, not a regular at this venue, looks around suspiciously. "Jazz fans don't seem to have any one style," she complains. I reply testily: "That's why I like it"...