Eric Myers Jazz

work in progress



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.



Edited by Sascha Feinstein

Book review by John Clare 

Extempore I,  2008

In his old Downbeat column ‘Out Of My Head’ satirist George Crater created a madly hip jazz critic called Zoot Finster. Herman J Pipesucker also figured. Who would want to be introduced as a jazz critic? A jazz reviewer is needed; you seem to know a bit about it and write acceptably. They give you the beret. It was not my mission in life but I came to enjoy it, and of course I take the job seriously…

John Sangster

John Sangster


by Gail Brennan/John Clare

Sydney Morning Herald, March 24, 1990

John Sangster is the only musician to have contributed significantly to the Australian traditional jazz scene and the avant-garde. Members of the former are usually happy to be called larrikin. The latter were once assumed mad. Sangster was also bandleader in the Australian production of Hair. The "freak out" scenes allowed him to experiment freely — in a musical sense, of course. When Sangster returned to his earlier concerns, a thousand fogies took this to be a final confirmation that the other stuff was rubbish...



Paul Grabowsky

Paul Grabowsky


by Gail Brennan/John Clare

Sydney Morning Herald, April 23, 1992

Having seen how little of Count Paul Grabowsky, man and musician, filters through the television show formula, I am ready to believe that Don Lane and Steve Vizard are Renaissance men in real life. The real Grabowsky is a wit. The television Grabowsky is glib at best. The real Grabowsky is a scholar…