b. 31 May 1921, London, England, d. 29 November 1993, London, England. A self-taught pianist, Clare became a professional musician at the age of 15 and during the next few years became a familiar figure on the London jazz scene. He played with Carlo Krahmer, Sid Phillips and others in the early 40s before military service intervened. Wounded soon after D-Day, he returned to civilian life, playing in the comedy band led by Sid Millward and also began a long sporadic association with Stéphane Grappelli. From the 50s onwards, Clare was busy playing jazz in small groups, some of which he led, mostly in nightclubs but also appearing occasionally on television. An exceptionally gifted pianist with a light, subtle touch, he had a seemingly endless knowledge of tunes and chord progressions. Allied to a gift for accompaniment and the ability to play with unflagging swing, Clare was an outstanding figure in UK jazz. His chosen milieu, however, and the relatively few recordings he made, often deleted with indecent haste, conspired to keep his gleaming talent from the widespread audience he so richly deserved.
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