Mike Clark was born on October 3, 1946 in Sacramento, California. Most noted for playing in the Headhunters band headed up by Herbie Hancock since the mid-1970s. His performance on Hancock’s 1974 Thrust album and particularly the song “Actual Proof”, is often cited as one of the finest examples of the linear funk style of drumming.
Clark was also a member of the UK jazz-fusion outfit Brand X alternating behind the kit with Phil Collins between 1978-80. He has performed with Chet Baker, Vince Guaraldi, Fred Wesley, Woody Shaw, Wallace Roney, Eddie Henderson, Michael Wolff, Tony Bennett, Joe Henderson and Charlie Hunter, just to name a few.
Mike is known as one of the most sampled drummers in contemporary music and his beats have appeared on records by Prince, N.W.A., De La Soul and Janet Jackson, among others.
In addition to leading his own group, jazz, funk and fusion drummer Mike Clark is currently co-leader of a two-drummer band with Lenny White and is currently co-leading and touring with The Wolff and Clark Expedition. As an educator he continues to run clinics around the world.
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Dave Holland was born on October 1, 1946 in Wolverhampton, England and taught himself to play stringed instruments, beginning at four on the ukelele, then graduating to guitar and later bass guitar. He quit school at the age of 15 to pursue his profession in a top 40 band, but soon gravitated to jazz. After seeing an issue of Down Beat magazine where Ray Brow had won the critics’ poll for best bass player, he went to a record store, and bought a couple of LPs featuring Brown backing pianist Oscar Peterson and also two Leroy Vinnegar albums. He was also drawn to Charles Mingus and Jimmy Garrison.
A move to London in 1964 saw Dave played acoustic bass in small venues and studying with James Edward Merrett, principal bassist of the Philharmonia Orchestra, who taught him to sight read and then recommended he apply to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. HoBy age 20, he was keeping a busy schedule in school, studios and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. There he played in bands that supported such touring American jazz saxophonists as Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Joe Henderson as well as John McLaughlin, Evan Parker, John Surman, Chris McGregor, John Stevens and Kenny Wheeler.
In 1968, Miles Davis and Philly Joe Jones heard him at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, playing in a combo that opened for the Bill Evans Trio. Jones told Holland that Davis wanted him to join his band, replacing Ron Carter. Two weeks later he was given three days’ notice to fly to New York for an engagement at Count Basie’s nightclub and his two years with Davis began. His first recordings with Davis were in September 1968, and he appears on half of the album Filles de Kilimanjaro with Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. He also appeared on the albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew that led to his playing more electric bass with a wah-wah pedal as Davis’ music evolved into more electronic and amp-based.
Post Davis, Holland briefly joined the avant-garde jazz group Circle with Chick Corea, Barry Altshul and Anthony Braxton and recorded a few albums. He would go on to work as a leader and as a sideman with many other jazz artists in the 1970s recording and performing with Sam Rivers, Airto Moreira, Steve Grossman, Keith Jarrett Jack DeJohnette, Gary Bartz, Stan Getz, John Abercrombie and Bonnie Raitt. During the 80’s he worked with his first quintet featuring of Steve Coleman, Kenny Wheeler, Julian Priester or Robin Eubanks; formed a trio with DeJohnette and Coleman, and a quartet with Coleman, Kevin Eubanks and Marvin “Smitty” Smith.
From the 1990s onward Holland renewed an affiliation with Joe Henderson to record So Near, So Far, Porgy & Bess and Joe Henderson Big Band. He reunited with Betty Carter for the Feed The Fire recording, Herbie Hancock’s recordings of The New Standard and the Grammy Album of the Year session, River: The Joni Letters.
Dave continued to create new groups, new music and new recordings winning Best Large Ensemble Album Grammys for his work; he has won Down Beat’s Critics Poll for Musician of the Year, Big Band of the Year, and Acoustic Bassist of the Year, the Jazz Journalists’ Association also honored him as Musician and Acoustic Bassist of the Year; and has received the Miles Davis Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival, among numerous other honors and doctorates from Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory and the Birmingham Conservatory in England..
As an educator, he has served as the artistic director of the Banff Summer Jazz Workshop, has tught workshops and master classes worldwide at universities and music schools, and is President of the UK-based National Youth Jazz Collective. Double bassist, composer and bandleader Dave Holland continues to perform, record and tour.
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Roy Sinclair Campbell, Jr. was born on September 29, 1952 in Los Angeles, California and raised in New York. At the age of fifteen he began learning to play trumpet and soon studied at the Jazz Mobile program along with Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan and Joe Newman. Throughout the 1960s, still unacquainted with the avant-garde movement, he performed in the big bands of the Manhattan Community College.
From the 1970s onwards he performed primarily within the context of free jazz, spending some of this period studying with Yusef Lateef. In the early 1990s Roy moved to the Netherlands and began performing regularly with Klaas Hekman and Don Cherry. He led his own groups but took a sideman seat to perform with Yo La Tengo, William Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Matthew Shipp and other improvisers.
Campbell returned stateside to lead his group Other Dimensions In Music while also forming the Pyramid Trio, without a piano, with William Parker. He performed regularly as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music held annually in New York City. He recorded seven albums as a leader, twelve as a co-leader and nearly five dozen as a sideman working with the likes of Jemeel Moondoc, Saheb Sarbib, Billy Bang, Ehran Elisha, Rob Brown, Alan Silva, Yuko Fujiyama, Steve Lehman, the Maneri Ensemble, Khan Jamal, Kevin Norton, Garrison Fewell and Marc Ribot among numerous others.
Trumpeter Roy Campbell, who primarily performed in the bebop and free settings but also played funk and rhythm and blues, passed away on January 9, 2014 of hypertensive atherosclerotic Cardiovascular disease at the age of 61.
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John Taylor was born on September 25, 1942 in Manchester, England. The pianist first came to the attention of the jazz community in 1969 when he partnered with saxophonists Alan Skidmore and John Surman. In the early 1970s he was accompanist to the singer Cleo Laine and started to compose for his own sextet.
Taylor worked with many visiting artists at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and later became a member of Scott’s quintet. He was later reunited with Surman in the short-lived group Morning Glory and in the 1980s in the Miroslav Vitous quartet. In 1977 formed the trio Azimuth with Norman Winstone and Kenny Wheeler. They made several recordings for ECM Records, performed in the United States, Europe and Canada.
The 1980s saw John working with Jan Garbarek, Enrico Evans, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Tony Coe, Steve Arguelles, Stan Sulzman and David Sylvian. From 2006 he was a member of the Kenny Wheeler’s quartet and large ensemble and performed in duo and quartet settings with John Surman. During the 1990s he made several recordings with Peter Erskine Tio with bassist Palle Danielsson.
By the turn of the century he was performing and recording with a new Azimuth collaboration, the Steve Smith Quartet, Maria PiaDe Vito and Ralph Towner, toured with his new trio, received the BBC Jazz Award for Best New Work’ for his Green Man Suite and continued to record.
As an educator he was professor of Jazz Piano at the Cologne College of Music, became a Lecturer in jazz at the University of York, coached and taught undergraduate jazz musicians and was of central importance to the new Master’s degree jazz pathway and in advancing doctoral research and performance in jazz.
While performing at the Saveurs Jazz Festival in Segre, France he suffered a heart attack. Although he was resuscitated at the venue, pianist John Taylor, who occasionally performed on the organ and the synthesizer, passed away after being taken to the hospital on July 17, 2015.
Lisa Sokolov was born on September 24, 1954 in Manhasset, Long Island and raised in nearby Roslyn, New York. She was exposed to jazz as a child through her father, who played stride piano and listened to recordings of jazz artists including Art Tatum, Mabel Mercer and Stan Getz. She began singing from a young age and soon took up piano, which she studied for many years.
1972 saw Sokolov attending Bennington College in Vermont and studying with Milford Graves, Bill Dixon, Jimmy Lyons, voice teacher Frank Baker, and composers Vivian Fine and Louis Calabro. While there she was exposed to Betty Carter and Meredith Monk who have influenced her style. Obtaining a double major in music/back music, she became interested in free jazz as well as avant-garde jazz, both of which she has incorporated into her vocal style.
After graduation Lisa moved to New York City in 1976, spent several months in Paris, France, returned to pursue graduate work in music therapy, met Jeanne Lee and was subsequently introduced to bassist William Parker and a decade long collaboration was begun.
She was part of the Studio Henry scene, a cooperative performance space, alongsideJohn Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Elliot Sharpe and David Sewelson. The 1990s saw Sokolov recording music and releasing her debut as a leader, angel Rodeo, followed by her second release six years later in 1999 titled Lazy Afternoon. She has since released five more albums.
As an educator Sokolov has worked as a music therapist, has taught in NYU’s graduate music department and is currently a full arts professor at the Experimental Theater Wing at the Tisch School of the Arts, which is part of New York University, and is recognized in the music therapy world as a pioneer and innovator in the applications of the voice to human potential.
She has worked with Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Robin Holcomb, Rahn Burton, Rashid Ali, Bada Roy, Jeanne Lee, Jimmy Lyons, Wayne Hovitz, Hilton Ruiz, Irene Schweizer, Butch Morris, Blue Gene Tyranny, Jim Mc Neely, Gerry Hemingway and Cameron Brown to name a few. A courageous and adventurous vocalist, Lisa Sokolov continued to sing, compose and perform.