What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Doug Clarke

by Doc Dosco

This week we feature the fine jazz guitarist

Online Bio

Doug Clarke is an exciting and inventive guitarist. He studied for many years with the legendary guitarist Tal Farlow, from whom he gained keen insight into the melodic and harmonic complexities of bebop and traditional jazz. As a highly sought after sideman, he has developed into an exceptional and innovative modern guitarist.

"Beware of Doug" (Doug's first C.D. as a leader) captivates the listener with contemporary harmonies and rhythms. The disc contains nine songs (six originals) which create a variety of moods including a lilting waltz, a free-spirited samba, and an up-tempo Monk-like blues. "My Funny Valentine" showcases Doug's arranging talent. Through the use of a unique chordal approach and an infectious quasi-funk groove, he achieves an intriguing hypnotic vibe on a familiar tune. "Mirage A

Trois", is an up tempo burner based on the chord changes to Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To". Doug's angular but swinging melody is reminiscent of Jim Hall's approach employing wide intervals to create a fresh sound over standard harmony. Doug's original compositions are beautifully crafted with lyrical melodies that reveal maturity beyond his years. Every song, from haunting ballads to hard driving swing tunes contains a high level of interplay between the musicians as well as unique and spirited solo's.

The band on "Beware of Doug" is composed of first-rate musicians, all of whom share Doug's enthusiasm for modern jazz. Saxophonist Paul Carlon has been performing in New York since 1991. He has appeared in such venues as New York's Town Hall, the JVC Jazz festival, Norwalk Connecticut Jazz festival, greater Hartford Jazz festival, as well as touring the Caribbean and Cuba. Paul is also a talented composer with a C.D. of his own originals, "Looking Up" and a swinging minor blues, "Nuthin' Fancy" featured on "Beware of Doug".

Bassist Gary Mazzaroppi has played with a list of musicians that reads like a Who's Who in jazz, including Tal Farlow, Jim Hall, Les Paul, Stan Getz, Marion McPartland, Joe Morello, Lionel Hampton, and many others. His virtuosity and versatility can be heard here, as his concept and approach on this recording is truly modern.

Drummer Scott Latzky is also a familiar face on the jazz scene today, having studied with Joe Morello, and performed with such greats as Gene Bertoncini, Mundell Lowe, Sal Salvador, John Bunch, and Brad Mehldau. As evidenced by their playing on the C.D., each musician brings his own unique sound and artistry to the music while maintaining a shared vision. The music is able to both honor the pioneers of jazz and at the same time, break free from the harmonic and rhythmic boundaries of traditional jazz. This is modern jazz at it's best.

Doug Clarke's website

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc now endorses Peerless Guitars and has the website Jazz Guitar Zone to help promote Peerless jazz guitars in the US. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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