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Overlooked Saxophonists

Dan Gould

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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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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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