Clare Fischer: Thiers' Tears


Thiers' Tears


Clare Fischer (leader, organ)


Waltz (Discovery DCSD-948)

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Clare Fischer (leader, organ),

Jimmy Zito, Conte Candoli, John Audino, Larry McGuire (trumpets), Gil Falco, Roy Main, Ronnie Smith, Phil Teele (trombones), Gary Foster, Bud Shank (flute, alto sax), David O’Rourke, Bill Perkins (clarinet, tenor sax), Louis Ciotti (baritone sax), John Lowe (bass sax), Bobby West (bass), Larry Bunker (drums)


Composed by Clare Fischer


Recorded: Los Angeles, 1969


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Clare Fischer has led a chameleonic life as a jazz musician. First known as musical director for the Hi-Loís, he wrote an album for trumpeter Donald Byrd with strings that Warner Bros. bought from Albert Marx and never released (it came out several years ago). Taking up residence in the west coast, he soon made his name as a pianist, composer, and by the late 1960s, leader of a big band that played local spots in Los Angeles. The band made two albums, one of which didnít come out until years later, the other sonically compromised and soon out of print. Also identified with Bossa Nova and later the Salsa movement, he led a small unit with a vocal group in this direction that made some wonderful albums. At this writing, Fischer is still at it, playing and writing superbly crafted, beautiful and unusual music. Often compared to Gil Evans, Fischer has always created his own sonic worlds that sound like no other.

ďTheirís TearsĒ was written in honor of a friend, and recorded for Albert Marx in 1969. Fischerís big band includes the rarely-heard bass sax, giving this ensemble a really solid bottom register. The piece is straight-forward swing with flute and clarinet colors as part of the texture, except for a transition to solos, where the rhythm has a distinct triplet feel, and the sounds shift to saxes and muted brass. Fischer plays the organ on this track, and the sinister sound of this instrument does not work in my opinion, but Clareís solo is first rate, as is Conte Candoliís. Fischerís ensemble is one more reminder of the many fresh directions in musical language still being explored many years after the ensemble ceased to be the source of American popular music.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof


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