Alan Clare discography...
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Alan Clare discography...
Alan Clare (1956) Born in London in 1921 pianist Alan Clare was largely self taught. At the age of ten he won a prize at the Stratford Music Festival but was unable to avail himself of scholarship which it entailed for financial reasons. A year later he started to play in local clubs and dance bands and by the age of fifteen he was a full time professional on the road. Two years later he met Carlo Krahmer with whom he worked in various clubs. During this period he had the pleasure of playing duets with George Shearing at the Starlight Club.

During 1940 he played wiith the Roy Marsh Trio, followed by a stay of six months with Sid Phillips before being called up by the Army in 1941 where he stayed until 1946. On his demobilisation he worked with Stephan Grappelly and with a music publishing firm for a spell.
In 1950 he took up residence at the Studio Club frequented by painters, actors and musicians where he was one of the venue's most popular attractions.
Then in the mid 1950's, through into the '60s he fronted a trio in the Star Club, a popular west end nightspot in London frequented by show business stars, politicians, royalty and other top people.
He worked in many other clubs including The Kool Kanary, Rake and Downbeat, right through to the 1980s and early 1990s, although ill health caused problems prior to his death in October, 1993.
The terms 'musician's musician' and ' pianist's pianist' are an accurate description of a pianist who, by his own choice, spent much of his working life playing in late night drinking establishments where his unique talent remained out of the general mainstream of jazz. His thoughtfully selected chords, command of harmony and knowledge of the most obscure musical compositions, along with a wry sense of humour, earned him the admiration and affection of fellow musicians across the world.
His style was described as mainstream with modern overtones - his influences included Earl Hines, Art Tatum, Bud Powell and Duke Ellington. He had a liking for the music of the classical composers Ravel and Debussy. He did make a few records under his own name, sometimes with top jazz musicians although he was never a jazz group musician as such.



Friend of Alan Clare, composer, arranger and pianist Michael Christopher Vecchione has sent further recording details:

"Alan Clare was a friend of mine and probably my greatest teacher / mentor in the late 1980's. Alan had two other albums I'd like to mention I also have some other unreleased recordings of his:

Young Girl LP, recorded by Decca in 1968. Alan Clare (piano) and Bernie Woods (bass) play popular standards. Peter Sellers, actor (and friend of Alan's) actually funded this recording and the title song "Young Girl" was written by Alan Clare.
Midnight Moods features the piano of Alan and was recorded in 1986 as a two cassette pack. Alan Clare (piano) and Lennie Bush (bass) play nearly 25 selections of Popular Standards. While on a trip to London some time back I found "Midnight Moods" on CD retitled "Holland Park", with all the selections transfered from the cassette. Sadly, all of the selections have this grainy distorted sound, which is anything but pleasing to the ear. I think some sort of processing must have been used to remove tape hiss but apparently it didn't work out. The CD is now out of print anyway. It was released in November 1993, one month after Alan's passing".
"Alan recorded these on an Alfred Knight vertical piano. After the "Young Girl" sessions at Decca in 1968, Peter Sellers gave the Knight piano to Alan as a gift and had it shipped to his home in Holland Park, London. These are sensational sounding recordings with an impeccable performance by Lennie Bush on bass as well. Alan mentioned to me that the piano was tuned to "perfection". His tuner spent three days preparing the instrument for the sessions. The piano has a very beautiful "singing" quality to it. Alan was also in top form!
He had a marvelous sense of humour and was an unbelievable pianist, with an amazing touch. I've heard a lot of extremely fine pianists in my time, but I've never heard anyone play quite Alan. He was really something special. His chord structures were quite different and unique. Alan was also a very fine composer and penned the song "John 'O Groats" which was the northernmost town in Scotland. Cleo Laine later renamed this song "Loving You" on one of her albums with Alan on Rhodes piano, and James Galway on flute. Album liner notes said that Alan was considered to be one of the most highly respected musicians in Great Britain. I can see why. I actually have the piano music score to this tune and other compositions of his in Alan's own writing. What treasures! I miss Alan very much".


Alan Clare - June 9th, 1951 (Esquire)
Alan Clare (p).
Small Hotel/Tabu/You Go To My Head/Lover/The Folks On The Hill.

Alan Clare - November 24th, 1951 (Esquire)
Alan Clare (p), Bernie Woods (b).
If I Had A Talking Picture/The Swan/Blue Serge/Caprice Viennois/Poinciana.

Alan Clare - August 28th, 1952 (Esquire)
Alan Clare (p), Charlie Short (b).
On The Alamo/Laura (unissued)/Experiment/I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket.

Alan Clare - October 24th, 1952 (Esquire)
Alan Clare (p), Jack Fallon (b).
Laura/I've Got The World On A String/Nice Work If You Can Get It.

Jimmy Deuchar Quartet - November 12th, 1954 (Esquire) (JMC10/11)
Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Alan Clare (p), Pete Blannin (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
Why Do I Love You* (2 takes)/The Things We Did Last Summer* (2 takes)/This Can't Be Love* (2 takes)/Just One Of Those Things* (2 takes) (One take of each on LP S330, One take of * on EP93).

George Chisholm and his Orchestra - March 23rd, 1956 (Decca LK4147)
George Chisholm, Ken Goldie (tb), Bertie King (as), Derek Collins (ts), Alan Clare (p), Ike Isaacs (g), Joe Muddel (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Blue's For Two's*#/'Deed I Do*/Lazy River*#.
(*Vocalion CD - "Chis" The Art of George Chisholm)
(#Retrospective CD - George Chisholm The Gentleman of Jazz - A Centenary Tribute)

Alan Clare Trio - August 23rd, 1956 (The improvisations of Alan Clare - Decca DFE6368)
Alan Clare (p), Lennie Bush (b), Tony Crombie (d).
Autumn In New York/Duke's Joke/Love For Sale/Things Ain't What They Used To Be.

Alan Clare Quartet - November 10th, 1956 (#Decca LK4180, other on DFE6380)
Alan Clare (p), Ike Isaacs (g), Lennie Bush (b), Allan Ganley (d).
Satin Doll#/Walk Easy#/Lullaby In Rhythm*.
(*Vocalion CD - The Alan Clare Trio - Jazz Around The Clock)
(#Vocalion CD - Third Festival of British Jazz - 1956)

Alan Clare Quartet - January 14th, 1957 (Decca DFE6391)
Bob Burns (b-cl), Alan Clare (p), Lennie Bush (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
It's Easy To Remember*/Easy Living*/How Long Has This Been Going On?*/Sometimes I'm Happy*.
(*Vocalion CD - The Alan Clare Trio - Jazz Around The Clock)

Lita Roza was a popular vocalist with the Ted Heath band and the session below used several Heath sidemen...
Lita Roza with Bill Munn's All Stars - February 11th, 14th and 15th, 1957 (Between the devil and the deep blue sea -Decca LK4218)
Ronnie Hughes (tp), George Chisholm, Ken Wray (tb), George Hunter (as), Don Rendell (ts), Alan Clare (p), Bill Le Sage (vib), Ike Isaacs (g), Joe Muddel or Lennie Bush (b), Eddie Taylor or Jack Peach (d).
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea*/Willow Weep For Me*/Little White Lies*/Moon Song*/Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams*/I Only Have Eyes For You*/You Turned The Tables On Me*/I Cover The Waterfront*/You're Driving Me Crazy*/Moonglow*/You Took Advantage Of Me*/No Moon At All*/My One And Only Love*.
(*Vocalion CD - Between the devil and the deep blue sea / A Lita Roza Ted Heath singles compilation)

Alan Clare Quartet - c1957 (Decca unissued)
Unknown (ts), Alan Clare (p), unknown (b) and (d).
Luxury Flat*/Manhattan*.
(*Vocalion CD - The Alan Clare Trio - Jazz Around The Clock)

Decca LK4260 was recorded in the "Star Club" in London.
Alan Clare Trio + others - February 4th/5th, 1958 (Decca LK4260)
Alan Clare (p), Kenny Napper (b), Eddie Taylor (d).
I'm Old Fashioned* (add Don Rendell (ts))/Everything Happens To Me* (add Ray Premru (b-tp))/Morning Fun* (add Bob Efford (ts)/Yesterdays* (add Bob Burns (as) - Bobby Kevin (d) replaces Eddie Taylor).
Alan Clare (p), Kenny Napper (b), Bobby Kevin (d).
Drop Me Off At Harlem*/Luxury Flat*/Just You Just Me*/Moonlight In Vermont*/There's A Lull In My Life*/Hayfoot, Strawfoot*.
(*Vocalion CD - The Alan Clare Trio - Jazz Around The Clock)

Alan Clare Trio + others - May 24th, 1960 (Columbia 33SX1452)
Alan Clare (p), Kenny Napper (b), Bobby Kevin (d).
Sweet And Strange (add Bob Burns (as))/Mirage (add Phil Goody (f))/Luxury Flat (add Dave Goldberg (g).


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