Kenny Clarke

Genres: Jazz
Tags: jazz bebop drums Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: allmusic discogs other databases VIAF wikidata wikipedia


Kenneth Spearman Clarke, 9 January 1914, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 26 January 1985, Paris, France. Clarke began playing drums as a child and while in his teens played in several bands in his home town. He later joined Roy Eldridge and also played in the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and in those led by Edgar Hayes, Claude Hopkins and Teddy Hill. In Hill’s band at the time (1939) was Dizzy Gillespie, in whom Clarke found a kindred revolutionary spirit. Both in the band and at after-hours sessions at Minton’s Playhouse, Clarke began to develop new concepts of jazz drumming. His seemingly eccentric playing, ‘dropping bombs’ (see below), confused many musicians but was greeted with enthusiasm by the more radical newcomers. During this period, Clarke worked with leading jazzmen such as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and Charlie Christian. After a mid-40s hiatus for military service, Clarke was soon active in recording studios with...

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