Kenny Clarke

~ Person

Legal name: Kenneth Clarke Spearman


Kenneth Clarke Spearman (January 9, 1914 – January 26, 1985), nicknamed Klook, was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. A major innovator of the bebop style of drumming, he pioneered the use of the ride cymbal to keep time rather than the hi-hat, along with the use of the bass drum for irregular accents ("dropping bombs").

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was orphaned at the age of about five and began playing the drums when he was eight or nine on the urging of a teacher at his orphanage. Turning professional in 1931 at the age of seventeen, he moved to New York City in 1935 when he began to establish his drumming style and reputation. As the house drummer at Minton's Playhouse in the early 1940s, he participated in the after-hours jams that led to the birth of bebop. After military service in the US and Europe between 1943 and 1946, he returned to New York, but from 1948 to 1951 he was mostly based in Paris. He stayed in New York between 1951 and 1956, performing with the Modern Jazz Quartet and playing on early Miles Davis recordings. He then moved permanently to Paris, where he performed and recorded with European and visiting American musicians and co-led the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band between 1961 and 1972. He continued to perform and record until the month before he died of a heart attack in January 1985.

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1954Jazz Studio 1Paul Quinichette, Benny Green, Frank Foster, Joseph Newman, Hank Jones, Kenny Clarke, Edward Jones, Sir Jonathan Gasser1
1955Jazz-Young BloodChuz Alfred, Ola Hanson, Chuck Lee with Vinnie Burke & Kenny Clarke1
1955Bohemia After DarkKenny Clarke, “Cannonball” Adderley, Horace Silver, Donald Byrd, Nat Adderley, Jerome Richardson & Paul Chambers4
1955Flutes & ReedsErnie Wilkins / Frank Wess / Jerome Richardson / Hank Jones / Eddie Jones / Kenny Clarke1
1955Telefunken BluesKenny Clarke1
1956Jazzmen: DetroitKenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan, Pepper Adams, Paul Chambers, Kenny Clarke2
1956North, South, East... WessFrank Wess, Frank Foster, Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Jones, Kenny Clarke2
1956The Trio with GuestsThe Trio feat. Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall & Kenny Clarke1
1961The Golden EightKenny Clarke with Francy Boland and Company2
1969Musique SacréeJean-Christian Michel - Quatuor Avec Orgue, Percussion : Kenny Clarke1
1977Red StarNoah Howard & Kenny Clarke1
1984Pieces of TimeKenny Clarke, Andrew Cyrille, Milford Graves & Famoudou Don Moye2
1989Jazz Pictures at an ExibitionPim Jacobs & Rita Reys feat. Kenny Clarke1
1992Musician of the YearEddie Bert feat. Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall & Kenny Clarke1
2000Jazz in Paris: Rhoda Scott + Kenny ClarkeRhoda Scott & Kenny Clarke1
2002Americans Swinging In ParisKenny Clarke1
2013Milt Jackson With John Lewis, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke, Lou Donaldson And The Thelonious Monk QuintetMilt Jackson With John Lewis, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke, Lou Donaldson And The Thelonious Monk Quintet1
Clarke Boland QuintetKenny Clarke & Francy Boland1
The Jazz Trio of Hank JonesHank Jones, Wendell Marshall & Kenny Clarke1

Album + Compilation

1955Milt Jackson With John Lewis, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke, Lou Donaldson And The Thelonious Monk QuintetMilt Jackson With John Lewis, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke, Lou Donaldson And Thelonious Monk Quintet1
1957Sidney Bechet Martial Solal QuartetSidney Bechet & Martial Solal feat. Kenny Clarke3
1980BluesologyMilt Jackson, Kenny Clarke With Winnie Brown1
1985Paris 1960Clark Terry, Quentin Jackson, Martial Solal, Kenny Clarke1
2000The Quintessence: Stockholm ‐ New York ‐ Paris 1938‐1949Kenny Clarke1
2001The Chronological Classics: Kenny Clarke 1946-1948Kenny Clarke1
2001The Chronological Classics: Kenny Clarke 1948-1950Kenny Clarke1
2007Klook's The ManKenny Clarke1
2008Telefunken BluesKenny Clarke1

Album + Live

2018Live in Paris: Jazz From Carnegie Hall, 1er oct. 1958Kenny Clarke, Red Garland, Kai Winding, Oscar Pettiford, Lee Konitz, Phineas Newborn, Jr. & J.J. Johnson1


1955Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya / Bohemia After DarkKenny Clarke, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Donald Byrd, Nat Adderley, Horace Silver & Paul Chambers1
1955Spontaneous Combustion / A Little TasteJulian “Cannonball” Adderley, Nat Adderley, Hank Jones, Paul Chambers & Kenny Clarke1

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