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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Clark Tracey Quartet live streaming from Guildford Jazz - April 14

Simon Allen (tenor sax, soprano sax); Bruce Boardman (piano); Andy Cleyndert (double bass); Clark Tracey (drums)

A first gig of the year for Clark Tracey. An online, international audience of some three hundred people logged on, commented and listened as drummer Clark played a set of eight compositions written by Stan Tracey over the course of six decades. Joining Clark at the Boiler Room for this Guildford Jazz concert billed as The Clark Tracey Quartet Celebrating the Compositions of Stan Tracey were three of the best in the business - saxophonist Simon Allen, who first worked with the Traceys twenty years ago, bassist Andy Cleyndert who has been an ever-present in the Traceys' various ensembles since 1980 (!) and pianist Bruce Boardman.

Clark, son of Stan, put together a programme reflecting the variety and enduring quality of Stan Tracey's compositions. Keeping it simple, Clark proceeded to present the material in chronological order, starting with Euphony, written for the Victor Feldman Sextet way back in 1952. A regulation round of solos - Simon Allen, tenor sax, Bruce Boardman, piano, and new father of twins, Andy Cleyndert, bass - brought it home just how good these guys are! 

Afro-Charlie Meets the White Rabbit first heard on a 1962 radio broadcast, later to feature on Alice in Jazzland, put Boardman in the spotlight. Close your eyes and this was Stan Tracey/Thelonious Monk. Clark had the discographical detail at hand - well, he would, wouldn't he? - and shed light on the origin of the title Rainow at Five Mile Road. Any guesses? Simply a location, an observation on a family holiday on Jersey. 

Clark said he was pleased with how well the quartet was playing, considering they hadn't played together for quite some time - 'minimalist rehearsal' said CT. A co-composition (that's Stan and Clark), Pajaras Exoticas from Continental Driftalso pleased Clark given that the piece was written for an eleven piece band. Oh, yes, Clark grabbed a brief solo into the bargain. Pudding and Mince from the Dylan Thomas inspired A Child's Christmas concluded the quartet's work. There was, however, one more number. Bruce Boardman played Ballad for Loos (from The Flying Pig) as a solo piano feature. Clark revealed that he can no longer bring himself to play it, composed by Stan for his father who saw action during WW1.             
Russell

Set list: EuphonyAfro-Charlie Meets the White RabbitRainbow at Five Mile RoadHoney HillBendologyPajaras ExoticasPudding and MinceBallad for Loos

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Clark mentioned that he had a gig in Newcastle in December. It’s going to be very special.

Anonymous said...

Clark did indeed mention the Newcastle gig, although it'll be with a different, but equally brilliant, line-up. Next year Clark intends to work regularly with Allen, Boardman and Cleyndert.

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