Buck Clarke

William "Buck" Clarke[1] (October 2,[2] 1933[3] – October 11, 1988 in Los Angeles[2]) was an American jazz percussionist who played with Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Les McCann, Russ Freeman, Gerald Albright, Jimmy Smith and others. He also played at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1968.[1] Clarke's many musical styles include soul, funk and contemporary jazz, with an Afrocentric perspective.[4]

Buck Clarke
Buck Clarke in person
Buck Clarke
Background information
Birth nameWilliam (Buck) Clarke
BornOctober 2, 1933
Washington, D.C., Maryland United States
DiedOctober 11, 1988 (aged 55)
Los Angeles, CA, United States
GenresContemporary Jazz, cool jazz, soul jazz
Occupation(s)Percussionist, Artist, composer
InstrumentsBongos, Congas
Years active1960-1988
Full Circle
Associated actsLes McCann
Herbie Hancock
Freddie Hubbard
Russ Freeman
Jimmy Smith


He was born in Washington, DC on October 2, 1933.[1][4] At an early age, he started off of working at a display sign store. One of his bosses father was a cousin to Duke Ellington.[4] At that time, his boss began to play jazz music to the 15 year-old Clarke, which brought him to his attention of listening to jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Allen Jones and Dizzy Gillespie.[4] Clarke many interests as a young youth gotten even more serious that he was "hooked on Jazz",[5] he eventually had a job offer at D.C. club where he learned how to play the congas.[4] One of his very first gigs was at a show called "Jig Show", where as Clarke would perform as well as dancers and comedians.[4] He would travel thought the world, going to places such as New Orleans, where he first discovered to play rumba music for the first time.[4] . Many others tried to encourage young Clarke to play "real instruments", but his position was the bongo drums.[4]

When he was 16 or 17 years old, he played with the late Charlie Parker.[4] Clarke express his feelings in ever performing with Wess Anderson's band The Washingtonians which included, Eddie Jones and Charlie Parker, saying it had Clarke "shook up and mind blowing".[4] He played with Art Blakey's and New York Jazz Messengers at 19 or 20 years old.[4] He was also a member of eight piece band to be part of his education on learning how to play in a band.[4]

Clarke suffered from diabetes that cost him his leg.[6] He died on October 11, 1988 in Los Angeles.[2]


As leader

As sideman

With Les McCann

With Willis Jackson

With Eugene McDaniels

  • Outlaw (Prestige, 1960)

With Dave Hubbard

  • Dave Hubbard (Mainstream, 1971)

With Cannonball Adderley

With The Isley Brothers

With Nina Simone

  • The Great Show Live in Paris (Disques Festival, 1975)

With Jimmy Smith

With John Mayall

  • A Banquet In Blues (ABC, 1976)

With Herbie Hancock

With Freddie Hubbard

With Ron Escheté

  • Stump Jumper (Bainbridge, 1986)

With Thelonious Monster


Buck Clarke playing the drums


  1. ^ a b c "Buck Clarke". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c [1] Archived 2016-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "Buck Clarke". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Night Journey Rewind with Percussionist Buck Clarke". Nightjourneyrewind.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Night Journey Rewind with Percussionist Buck Clarke - NJR". Nightjourneyrewind.com. 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  6. ^ "Jazz Reviews: Musicians Pay Tribute To Buck Clarke". Los Angeles Times. April 28, 1986. Retrieved 24 December 2016.

External links

Another Beginning

Another Beginning is an album by pianist Les McCann recorded in 1974 and released on the Atlantic label.

Argo Records

Argo Records was a record label in Chicago that was established in 1955 as a division of Chess Records.Originally the label was called Marterry, but bandleader Ralph Marterie objected, and within a couple of months the imprint was renamed Argo.Although Chess was a blues label, the Argo division began to record jazz in 1955 and over decades attracted some big names: Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Barry Harris, Illinois Jacquet, Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, James Moody, Max Roach, Red Rodney, and Ira Sullivan.Argo also recorded pop, blues, and calypso. Its first big hit was by Clarence "Frogman" Henry, whose song "Ain't Got No Home" came out in 1956. By 1960, rhythm and blues performers on the label included Etta James and the Dells.Argo changed its name in 1965 to Cadet Records when the company discovered that an Argo Records already existed in the UK. As with its parent label, the catalog is owned by Universal Music Group.

Billy Hart

Billy Hart (born November 29, 1940) is an American jazz drummer and educator.

Blue Gator

Blue Gator is the third album led by saxophonist Willis Jackson featuring organist Jack McDuff and guitarist Bill Jennings which was recorded in 1959 and 1960 and released on the Prestige label.

Cool "Gator"

Cool "Gator" (also released as Keep on a Blowin') is the second album led by saxophonist Willis Jackson featuring organist Jack McDuff and guitarist Bill Jennings which was recorded in 1959 and 1960 and released on the Prestige label.

Cool Hands

Cool Hands is the debut album by American jazz percussionist Buck Clarke. The album was released in 1960. Recorded in Washington D.C. on December 2 & 3, 1959 on Offbeat records. The albums features Charles Hampton, Don McKenzie, Fred Williams and Roscoe Hunter.

Drum Sum

Drum Sum is the second album by American jazz percussionist Buck Clarke. The album was released in 1961. Recorded November 8, 1960 at Bell Sound Studios, New York on Argo Records. The album features Fred Williams, Don McKenzie, Clement Wells, Charles Hampton and Roscoe Hunter. It was the first album to have studying from beat culture to science fiction referring to beatnik lounge music.

Givin' It Back

Givin' It Back is the ninth album released by The Isley Brothers on their T-Neck imprint on September 25, 1971. After years of having white rock acts covering their most famed material, particularly, "Shout" and "Twist and Shout", the Isleys decided to do the same to music made famous by white artists such as Stephen Stills, Eric Burdon and Neil Young. Among the songs they covered were "Spill the Wine", "Love the One You're With", the social commentary medley of "Ohio" and "Machine Gun" (from Jimi Hendrix), "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor and Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay". The Isleys' perseverance paid off when their covers of "Love the One You're With", "Lay Lady Lay" and "Spill the Wine" became charted hits. Bill Withers plays guitar on the Isleys' version of his "Cold Bologna".The album was remastered and expanded for inclusion in the 2015 released CD box set The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters, 1959-1983.

Gleam (album)

Gleam is a live album recorded in 1975 by jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. It was released as a double LP on Sony Music Japan and features a live performance recorded in Tokyo by Hubbard, Carl Randall, George Cables, Henry Franklin, Carl Burnett and Buck Clark. The selections are extended performances of material from Hubbard's recent albums "High Energy" and "Polar AC"; as well as three songs from the upcoming and as of then unrecorded album "Liquid Love". (Sessions for "Liquid Love" began the day after this concert.) In 2012 the album was released as a double cd on the Wounded Bird label.

Invitation to Openness

Invitation to Openness is an album by pianist Les McCann recorded in 1971 and released on the Atlantic label.

Jimmy Crawford (drummer)

Jimmy "Craw" Crawford (January 14, 1910 – January 28, 1980) was an American jazz drummer in the swing era.

List of jazz percussionists

This is an alphabetized list of notable musicians who play or played percussion, excluding keyboard percussion. Only add names here if the person has their own article on Wikipedia, please.

Live at Montreux (Les McCann album)

Live at Montreux is an album by pianist Les McCann recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1972 and released on the Atlantic label.

Root Down (album)

Root Down is a 1972 live jazz album by Jimmy Smith, released on the Verve label. It was recorded in Los Angeles on February 8, 1972. It includes the song "Root Down (And Get It)" which was sampled by the Beastie Boys for their song "Root Down."Root Down peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Top Jazz Album charts.

Second Movement

Second Movement is an album by American jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris and pianist/vocalist Les McCann recorded in 1971 and released on the Atlantic label. The album was a follow-up to the duo's highly successful live collaboration Swiss Movement (Atlantic, 1969).

Sextant (album)

Sextant is the eleventh studio album by Herbie Hancock, released in 1973 by Columbia. It is his last album with his early '70s Mwandishi-era Band.

The Black Messiah

The Black Messiah is a live album by jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley recorded at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, California in 1971 featuring performances by Adderley's Quintet with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker and Roy McCurdy with guest appearances by Airto Moreira, Mike Deasy, Ernie Watts, Alvin Batiste, and Buck Clarke. After many years of being out of print, The Black Messiah was reissued in 2014 by Real Gone Music; the new 2CD reissue included liner notes by music journalist/blogger Bill Kopp.

Together Again! (Willis Jackson and Jack McDuff album)

Together Again! is an album by saxophonist Willis Jackson with organist Jack McDuff which was recorded in 1959 and 1960 and released on the Prestige label in 1965.

Together Again, Again

Together Again, Again is an album by saxophonist Willis Jackson with organist Brother Jack McDuff which was recorded in 1959, 1960 and 1961 and released on the Prestige label in 1966.

Art Blakey
solo albums

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