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.
by John Clare
Jazz Down Under, May/June, 1976
Of all the impulses which prompt the making of art, probably the most potentially dangerous for the artist is the desire for earthly bliss, Nirvana. Charlie Parker used the urge to artistic advantage, but personal disaster. Certain professional mystics, on the other hand, have used it for artistic disaster and personal profit — or so it seems to me. What the hell are we talking about? Just this: the feeling that surely there has to be something more…
THE RETURN OF THE REDMAN
by Gail Brennan/John Clare
Australian Jazz & Blues, Volume 1, No 5, 1994
The Dewey Redman sound! When Redman played at Sydney's Performance Space with Bernie McGann, John Pochée and Geoff Kluke in 1986, John Shand, hurrying to the gig, recognised that "light, dry sound" from blocks away. It can be the lightest tenor saxophone sound in jazz, with the possible exception of the somewhat edgier tone of the late Warne Marsh. It can move close to a transparent "classical" sound. But when Redman plays the blues it inflates effortlessly, and in the course of any solo he will darken the tone where solid weight is required…