Born: January 29, 1937 | Died: November 16, 2009 Primary Instrument: Bass
Jeff Clyne was a virtuoso bass player. Starting with a short spell as a military bandsman in 1955 he then played in London with Tony Crombie's Rockets and with Stan Tracey. In 1958, he joined the Jazz Couriers, a group co-led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott and Britain's answer to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He continued to work with Hayes' various groups for about ten years. Clyne was the bass player on the Tubby Hayes big band album, 100% Proof. In the early 60's, Clyne also worked with such avant-garde groups as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Amalgam, led by John Stevens and Trevor Watts. In 1965, he was a member of the Stan Tracey quartet, which recorded the classic album Under Milk Wood. Towards the late 1960's, he worked with Gordon Beck (playing on his influential Experiments With Pops album alongside John McLaughlin and Tony Oxley in December 1967) and Tony Kinsey. He also recorded a long out of print (and highly sought after) recording he co-led with Ian Carr, which also featured John Stevens and Trevor Watts entitled Springboard. He later took up bass guitar, joining Nucleus at its beginning in 1969 and staying until 1971. The group won first prize at the Newport Jazz Festival the same year, and at the Village Gate in New York. Jeff Clyne recorded on the first three Nucleus albums, Elastic Rock, We'll Talk About It Later and Solar Plexus. He also gigged with Keith Tippett's acclaimed sextet alongside Elton Dean, Mark Charig and Nick Evans. In November 1972 he was a founding member of Gary Boyle's Isotope, playing on the band's first album and gigging around England. He joined Gilgamesh in May 1975 in time for the recording sessions of the band's eponymous album. In 1976, with singer Pepi Lemer and former Isotope acolyte Brian Miller on keyboards, he formed Turning Point, a fusion band for which he composed much of the music and which recorded two acclaimed albums, Creatures Of The Night and Silent Promise. He has accompanied singers Blossom Dearie, Marion Montgomery, Annie Ross and Norma Winstone, and worked with many US musicians, including Lucky Thompson, Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Jim Hall, Lockjaw Davis, Tal Farlow, and with the Belgian, Toots Thielemans. He has been active in education of several years and was co-director of the Wavendon Summer Jazz Course, and also was on the faculty of both the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music jazz courses. In 1987, he recorded the acclaimed Twice Upon A Time album with ex-Gilgamesh guitarist Phil Lee. In 1990, he toured the UK as part of Gordon Beck's trio, with John Marshall on drums. He played jazz gigs regularly with various groups, often with drummer Trevor Tomkins. In 2003, he resumed his partnership with John Marshall in John Etheridge's quartet.