Dan Gould

Overlooked Saxophonists

154 posts in this topic

I'm CERTAIN his name was not mentioned, but I had a friend, Chuck Clark, originally from SF. I first met him when he subbed at Marshall Brown's Wednesday workshop in 1980. I knew then that he was a great (tenor/soprano) player. 

I later found out he was an extraordinary writer, too:

I got back in touch with Chuck when I had some studio time at an audio college here in NY. I sounded him, saying

'Bring some tunes'.

The tune he brought, Full Moon, was a masterpiece! Strays and Rabbit all over it. After we recorded it I sent a copy to Phil Woods.

Got an email message:

(Subject line)

Full Moon


This tune is a MF

Sadly, Chuck Clark passed away in 2004. I sent a mass email about this to interested parties. Again, Mr. Woods responded:

I didn't know Chuck, but know what it's like to lose a friend. I am so sorry for your loss

Attached was a PDF lead sheet of Full Moon. At top left hand corner was this inscription:

Arranged by Phil Woods, in Memorium. (Phil never even met or spoke to Chuck!)

I believe Chuck Clark released a CD featuring his playing and writing with a nonet. Full Moon is said to have been arranged and recorded with choir by Claire Fischer. So maybe Mr. Clark is not THAT overlooked.

Rest well, my friend. You were a giant...



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7 hours ago, mrjazzman said:

Sonny Criss overlooked? Are you kidding me

Depends by whom, people here not so much, but the general public or the more casual jazz fan, yeah pretty much...relative to how good he was.

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I write from Cleopatra's Needle here in the Mango. On the 'juke' is a guy named Jimmy Hill.

I know, because I asked the owner, Meir, who it was---because I heard an alto SO sweet, such a sound, such beautiful phrasing, relaxation and control over ideas.

As it turns out, I had met Jimmy Hill before. He was as nice as his music. And he passed away---pretty much without a trace.

The good news if that Meir told me that his (lone) CD is available online. If you like smiling you might want to look into that...

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