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.
OBITUARY: BERNIE McGANN
by John Clare
Australianjazz.net, September 9, 2013
No sooner had I filed the review of the Bernie McGann album Wending on this site than McGann’s closest musical associate John Pochée phoned me with the news that our great and dear friend had gone. Neither of us was surprised, having seen him in hospital days before. The surprise was that he had fought on for so long. McGann died in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital not far from where I live. I was not long out of there myself and did not know until very recently that he was there having a serious operation at about the same time as I was…
ON CHET BAKER
by John Clare
Jazz Magazine, August, 1982
Chet Baker is a very different kettle of fish to Thad Jones. If anything, he got too much praise too soon. Yet it cannot be denied that he had something there. A trumpet sound that was intimate, soft, yet bright at times as fresh yellow paint. A poignant lyrical gift and a pleasing sense of construction, in the tradition of Bix Beiderbecke and Lester Young...
ON DON BURROWS
by John Clare/Gail Brennan
Sydney Morning Herald, July 23, 1984 and January 8, 1991
I suspect that our regular reviewer Terence Maloon handed this album to me because he had become squeamish about slamming Australian musicians and thought I would be kinder. I will, but you should not infer that kindness is desperately required. This is not Terence’s music, and much of it is not mine, but in the main it is very well played and should please Don Burrows’s many fans...