Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Clark, Mike (Michael Jeffrey)

Clark, Mike (Michael Jeffrey), drummer, bandleader; b. Sacramento, CA, 3 October 1946. Mike has performed with jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Jack Walrath, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Bill Doggett, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Mose Allison, Gil Evans and his orchestra, and did a stint with Brand X, the acclaimed British fusion band. He has performed throughout the world at all the major jazz festivals.

A faculty member of Drummers Collective, Mike has appeared at college clinics throughout the world, and has been featured in Downbeat, Musician, International Musician & Recording World, Modern Drummer, Jazz Times, Guitar Player, Jazz Is and many jazz history and method books.
His numerous recording credits include albums with Herbie Hancock, the Headhunters, Brand X, Eddie Henderson, Jack Walrath, Jack Wilkins, Mark Puricelli, Mike Wolff, and Alien Army, a group led by close friend and guitar great Jack Wilkins. 

His band Prescription Renewal, which debuted in the winter of 2000, featured multi talents such as Charlie Hunter, Fred Wesley, Skerik, Robert Walter, and DJ Logic, and always featured guests such as George Porter Jr. of Funky Meters' fame, Kyle Hollingsworth of String Cheese Incident, Les Claypool, Will Bernard, Larry Goldings and fellow Headhunters alumni, Bill Summers, and proved a hit on the thriving young jam band scene. Touring concurrently that year and the next was the Roots Funk All Stars, another hot ad hoc association that married Mike with James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley, former Headhunter cohort and funk bassist legend Paul Jackson, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Robben Ford.

The new Headhunter configuration, with original founding members Mike, Bill Summers and Paul Jackson is joined on their latest release, by Donald Harrison, Victor Atkins (Los Hombres Caliente), and Nicholas Payton.

Mike recently toured and recorded with piano great Michael Wolff and his band, Impure Thoughts. 2003 has also seen Mike touring with his own jazz band, and he will be showcasing his versatility half a dozen musical configurations during New Orleans Jazzfest, including the inaugural performance of the new Headhunters national tour.

Recordings:
Mike Clark-The Headhunter; The Funk Stops Here (with Paul Jackson); Give The Drummer Some; Actual Proof (2001); Summertime (2003)

As sideperson:
Herbie Hancock: Thrust, The Return of the Headhunters (1998), Herbie Hancock Box Set, Manchild

Bibliography:
Jung, Fred, "A fireside Chat with Mike Clark" (2003);
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=159

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