Eric Myers Jazz

work in progress

 

JOHN CLARE

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.

 
Paul McNamara

Paul McNamara

PAUL McNAMARA

by John Clare

Jazz Down Under, January, 1976

Paul McNamara looks strong as a bear in a way that goes beyond being solidly built, which he is, though he is not a huge man. His forehead is high, his face broad, but his nose is sharp, hawkish, and under his hawkish brows his eyes have the clear intentness of some black-bearded clansman watching across the hills for the marauder’s approach. His approach to the piano, however, is certainly the most peaceful in Australian contemporary jazz; it is probably the least aggressive in all jazz here…

Brian Brown

Brian Brown

BRIAN BROWN COMES TO SYDNEY

by John Clare

Jazz Down Under, November 1974

Where are all my spent superlatives now that I need them most? In a period of remarkable jazz activity, Brian Brown's band from Melbourne had probably the most dramatic impact of all. Things began to hum the moment they took their positions on the stand at Sydney's Basement. Indian lady Dure stood with one hand on her tinkling tree of percussion, serene and alert, waiting for Brian Brown's signal. Brown stood facing her with his tenor, side on to the audience. Drummer Ted Vining, bassist Dave Tolley - looking oddly judicial in spectacles, poncho and courtly long hair - and electric pianist Bob Sedergreen: all poised as though to spring out of deep meditation. Brown dipped his head and a chattering rainforest of sound sprang up…

 

 

Col Nolan & Errol Buddle

Col Nolan & Errol Buddle

FOCUS ON NOLAN/BUDDLE SYNDICATE

by John Clare

Jazz Down Under, May/June, 1975

Back in the Music Maker days, I got Ray Sutton to do us a story about Col Nolan. The upshot of this piece, which I thought an excellent one, was a brief angry correspondence in our Letters section between Nolan and Sutton. I always suspected that Ray Price may have influenced the uncharacteristically pedantic style of Col's letter. In any case, Ray parodied that style in his reply: "…may I quote (out of context) a particularly apt and succinct pivot of the late Onkel Wallace: ‘Back on your organ, Mother Morgan!’" – which Col now admits was a pretty good line. The misunderstanding involved is too complicated to go into…