Clark Tracey was born in London, England in 1961. He grew up in a jazz environment as the son of Stan Tracey, the UK's leading jazz pianist, and from an early age took to the piano and vibraphones. At 13 he started playing the drums and gigged until he turned professional in 1978 by joining his father's various ensembles. In that context he has toured and recorded extensively.
In 1981 he formed the first of his own groups with Django Bates, Iain Ballamy and Andrew Cleyndert. Later groups included Guy Barker, Jamie Talbot, Nigel Hitchcock, Dave O'Higgins, Mark Nightingale, Mornington Lockett, Julian Arguelles, Gerard Presencer, Alec Dankworth and Steve Melling. He currently runs a quintet with luminaries from the new generation (Mark Armstrong, Simon Allen, Zoe Rahman & Peter Billington) and a trio with Gareth Williams and Arnie Somogyi.
As a composer he has received commissions for his quintet, an octet shared with pianist Dave Newton, Continental Drift (an 11 piece band co-composed with Stan Tracey commissioned by The Arts Council), and arrangements for the Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Appleby Festival big band. He has also written string quartet arrangements for his own group, Claire Martin, Tina May and the folk group Filska.
As a freelance drummer Clark has had 25 years' experience playing alongside some of the most important artists in jazz at home and abroad (see list below), appearing on over 80 albums and touring in around 50 countries. He has been awarded Best Drums title three times in the British Jazz Awards and received endorsements from Zildjian Cymbals in 1998 and Vic Firth Sticks and Remo Drumheads in 1999.
Clark also teaches privately and at school and has given masterclasses at Leeds College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Musicians' Institute, Bracknell jazz weekends and festivals as well as overseas workshops.
He has appeared on tv and radio all over the world, but key moments include "Omnibus" (BBC) with his quintet, "Mercury Music Awards" (BBC) with Sting, "Father & Son" (ITV) with own group and Stan Tracey, "The Paradise Club" (ITV), "Ellington's" (ITV), "Call Me Mister" (ITV), "Blue Note's 50th Anniversary Concert" with Tommy Smith at the Montreux Jazz Festival, plus numerous radio broadcasts with his own groups on Radios 2 & 3. In 1999 Clark got a feature in the motion picture "The Talented Mr. Ripley" starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law (directed by Anthony Minghella) and this year was involved in the soundtrack of motion picture "Alfie" starring Jude Law.
International Artists Accompanied include
Reeds Harry Allen, Benny Bailey, Dale Barlow, Joshua Breakstone, Jesse Davis, Nathan Davis, Teddy Edwards, Herb Geller, Johnny Griffin, Scott Hamilton, Michael Hashim, Benjamin Herman, Red Holloway, Plas Johnson, Harold Land, Yank Lawson, Brad Leali,Charles McPherson, Turk Mauro, Lanny Morgan, Bob Mover, Jack Nimitz, Sal Nistico, Ken Peplowski, Jerome Richardson, Charlie Rouse, Pharoah Sanders, Tad Schull, Roman Schwaller, Gary Scott, Bud Shank, Lew Tabackin, Mike Tracy, Pietro Tonolo, Norris Turney, Benny Waters, Bobby Watson, Bob Wilbur, Rickey Woodard
Trumpet Bill Berry, Randy Brecker, Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Harry Sweets Edison, Art Farmer, Dusko Goycovich, Tony Lujan, Don Menza, Valery Ponomarev, Red Rodney, Shorty Rogers, Bobby Shew, Warren Vache
Trombone Buster Cooper, Steve Davis, Joel Helleny, Conrad Herwig, Frank Lacy, George Masso, Bart Van Lier, Jiggs Whiggam
Guitar Ron Affif, Howard Alden, Al Casey, Tal Farlow, Vic Juris, Barney Kessell, Bireli Lagrene, Mundell Lowe, Babik Reinhardt, Herb Ellis
Piano/Organ George Cables, Phil DeGregg, Garry Dial, John Hicks, Per Husby, Roger Kellaway, Keiko Lee, Romano Mussolini, Walter Norris, Herve Sellin, Jimmy Smith, James Williams
Vocals Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lea Delaria, Billy Eckstine, Slim Gaillard, Adelaide Hall, Karin Krog, Mark Murphy, Marlene Verplank
Bass Arild Andersen, Pierre Boussanger, Furio Di Castri, Neil Swainson, Jimmy Woode
Miscellaneous Peter Appleyard, Ray Alexander, Kenny Daverne, Buddy DeFranco, Hugh Fraser, Terry Gibbs, Peanuts Hucko, Howard Johnson, Tony Scott
UK Musicians Accompanied (selection)
Ronnie Scott, Martin Taylor, Andy Shepherd, Jason Rebello, Sting, Tommy Smith, Humphrey Lyttleton, John Surman, John Taylor, Julian Joseph, Norma Winstone, Kenny Baker, Elaine Delmar, Claire Martin, Peter King, Dick Morrissey, Don Weller, John Dankworth, Alan Skidmore, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler
Countries Performed In
Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Crete, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eire, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
For further information -
The Sunday Times
His most ambitious - yet self-effacing - session to datemore >>The Observer
Tracey has assembled one of the most varied and intriguing programmes imaginable.more >>Hi-Fi News
This is a well recorded, well judged CD.more >>All Music Guide
"Stability" is a seminar on eclectic musical styles and is recommended.more >>Jazz Scene
'Claire Martin has a fine jazz voice...she'll do quite well.'more >>AudioVideo Shopper
'Martin [has a] wonderful ability to interpret a song...the young diva succeeds best when she reaches furthest, and her wild rendition of Thomas Dolby's "The Key To Your Ferrari" provies just how versatile and entertaining jazz vocals can be.'more >>Jazz Educators Journal
'This is a CD I can hardly keep out of my CD player. A tenacious jazz sound, jazz feel, jazz phrasing ... yeah, an insistently head-spinning jazz singer is what Claire Martin is! Her hip, intoxicating voice and natural manner in shaping songs-unfolding tales and inherent nuances lying in wait to be enlivened-simply keeps her singing crisply fresh and savory.'more >>Sunday World-Herald
'Claire Martin, a British vocalist with a sultry sound...has loads of promise.'more >>Chattanooga Free Press
'She masters classic ballads as well as uptempo arrangements with the flair of a veteran.'more >>Jazziz
'...cool jazz in the best sense: intimate, understated and characterized by a relaxed yet confident sense of swing.'more >>Desert News, Salt Lake City
'impressive versatility'more >>Jazz Times
'A gifted interpreter of songs, with a wonderful sense of repertoire.'more >>Compact Magazine
« Claire Martin est une bonne chanteuse...Son clair et bien defini. La voix est bonne mais un rien trop claire. Tres bonne transparence sonore. »Northern Echo
'Linn have also issued the first album by another singer, Claire Martin The Waiting Game. Once again the musical support is outstanding, led this time by pianist Jonathan Gee or guitarist Jim Mullen. The tunes include a rare and beautiful Rodgers and Hart song, This Funny World.'In Vox
'...sensitive, emphatic, intimate. A truly flexible voice, lithely swaying the lyrics in the midst of captivating melodies.'Show Magazine
« Premier album d'une future grande du jazz chanté. »more >>O's Place Jazz
'An exceptional debut!'more >>The Wire
#6 The Critics' Choice for 1992The Times
'The most polished jazz performer to emerge in this country in the past three or four years.'more >>The Wire
Wire Winner: New Jazz Vocal: 'It's no exaggeration to say that Claire Martin is the most phenomenal vocal talent yet to appear on the British jazz scene.'more >>Vox
'She phrases immaculately, can handle ballads with consummate ease, and swings effortlessly.'more >>Hi-Fi News & Record Review
'Ms Martin is a cool jazz chanteuse...an imaginative choice of material...'more >>Jazz CD
'If you enjoy superb singing do not, on any account, allow this album to escape your attention; Ms Martin's vocal skills merit it becoming a bestseller.'more >>Jazz, The Magazine
'The jewel here is Claire Martin. Every note is a joy, and it's all done so well, with such a perfect balance of musicianship and clean recording quality...'more >>Jazz Express
'Claire Martin's debut album is impressive. Martin has excellent clarity, phrasing, attention to lyrics and an interesting and varied choice of material.'more >>Hi-Fi News & Record Review
'Linn can be proud of this one.'more >>