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.
THIS NARROW ISTHMUS
John Clare reviews a CD from the Julien Wilson Quartet
Music Trust website, December 1, 2015
Here is a band at the heart of Melbourne jazz – with a Sydney man who was once a new Zealander on double bass. Julien Wilson has another band with two Sydney players. They are all part of the underground of collaborators who rejoice in the fact that we have two major cities that are wonderfully contrasting and complementary…
THE ENGINE ROOM: ALL WORKING PARTS IN GOOD ORDER
Reviewed by Gail Brennan/John Clare
Sydney Morning Herald, September 22, 1990
The number of musicians in attendance when The Engine Room plays is usually high, but on Tuesday night they must have made up the bulk of the audience. There were manifold points of interest. The trio will be playing with two visiting Russians at the Manly Jazz Carnival and the Strawberry Hill and Real Ale Cafe next month. Therefore, their two appearances this month are important warm-ups. Further, the bassist chosen to replace Steve Elphick (who is in Europe) is only 20 and, incidentally, a woman...
GREGG ARTHUR: CERTAINLY A JAZZ SINGER
Review by John Clare
Foundry 616, 21 October, 2016
Foundry 616, in what throughout my childhood was a Sydney industrial area infiltrated by bond stores, terrace housing, a technical college and a technological museum, was full for this Friday night's appearance by singer Gregg Arthur with the Andrew Dickeson Trio, and with the first song they reached right into my earliest experiences of jazz - through speakers at home or in the new reality for me of the jazz club...