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.
THE MUSIC OF THINGS
by John Clare
Music Trust’s Loudmouth, September 3, 2017
Yes, people shout in Jonathan Creek the TV show. Shouts are heard, corpses found, cars crash and shots fired, I’m sure. Like other TV shows involving homicide. But no rhetoric, no swelling oratory, no dramatic projections issue from Creek’s mouth. His voice is bemused, soft and even lyrical in its way as he contemplates the cues. It is the lyricism of a jazz saxophonist of the cool school...
IRON IN THE BLOOD: A MUSICAL ADAPTATION OF ROBERT HUGHES’ THE FATAL SHORE (ABC Jazz 479 6387)
Album review by John Clare
Music Trust’s Loudmouth October 4, 2016
Jeremy Rose has incorporated some of Hughes’s best prose – which is very good indeed and well read by Quast and Zappa – and a few convict songs, into a long, dramatic, foreboding and sometimes dissonant and chilling series of brilliantly orchestrated fragments and longer themes played by The Earshift Orchestra…
ALISTER SPENCE TRIO LIVE
Album review by John Clare
Music Trust’s Loudmouth, February 1, 2016
Since I began listening to the contemporary end of jazz, or what was the contemporary end then – in the early 1950s that was – I have heard many breakaways from forms and styles that had in themselves been breakaways. Sometimes the breakaway movement was sonically more violent, dissonant (even than thoroughgoing pre-serial atonality) and rhythmically less predictable, or more complicated, than its predecessors; sometimes less, as in the case of “cool jazz” which was really an understated development of bebop (or “modern jazz”) far back when I began listening. Or indeed (as in the case of certain trios, notably The Necks) – they have been the progenitors of something more euphoric, of a system more flowing in feeling than calibrated in structure…