FULLER UP
HOME
GRIM REAPER
PAGE
CAUSES OF
DEATH
SEARCH BY
NAME
GET IN
TOUCH
SHAMEFUL DISCLAIMER
 
 Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory 
 
Clifford Osbourne Jarvis
Clifford Jarvis
November 26, 1999
Age 58
 
  
 
OBITUARY 
BIOGRAPHY  
LINKS 
Discography
 
 
 
 

OBITUARY 
        
 
    
        Jazz drummer vibrant on the stage and in the classroom 

      by John Fordham From the Guardian 

      Clifford Jarvis, the powerful and inspirational 
      American drummer who has died aged 58, was a 
      player whose public profile did not match the 
      respect in which he was held. He was regarded by 
      many observers of the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra 
      in the 1960s and 1970s as the best drummer the 
      band ever had; on a level of more personal 
      influence, his many drum students in his adopted 
      London will react to his early death as a light gone 
      out of their lives. 
       
      Jarvis's period with the Arkestra - whose leader, 
      Sun Ra, maintained he had been born on Saturn, 
      and whose behaviour sometimes made this claim 
      seem all too real - was an education for life in 
      every respect. The band's mixture of surrealism, 
      swing, performance art, free jazz and electronics 
      bubbled from 1956 to the early 1990s, but 
      beneath the exotic presentation were simple 
      musical priorities of honesty, originality, passion  
      and spontaneity. Jarvis always played like a man 
      who put those qualities at the top of his list. 

      Like Elvin Jones and Roy Haynes, he was a 
      musician who approached the drumkit as a whole, 
      rather than a collection of separate implements 
      with conveniently divisible functions. Even in the 
      straight-ahead, song-based boppish modern jazz 
      that he mostly played and taught from his arrival 
      in Britain in the 1980s, Jarvis never contented 
      himself with the familiar tickety-tick of the 
      cymbal or the routine snare-drum rattles. 

      He could fill a room with the intensity of his 
      sound -rather than its volume alone - and hold an 
      audience's attention while playing alone. Some 
      said this ferocity and sheer force of musical 
      personality made him hard to play with. But he 
      was the kind of performer to make good musicians 
      play above what they thought they knew. He listed 
      as his influences the expected postwar drum stars 
      - Max Roach, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones and 
      Elvin Jones among them - but also pioneers of 
      early jazz percussion like Big Sid Catlett. 

      Jarvis was deeply involved in every aspect of jazz 
      music, in particular its cultural and political 
      history. This breadth, coupled with immense 
      technical skill, made him a fascinating teacher. 

      Both his grandfather and his father were 
      trumpeters, and the latter encouraged Jarvis to 
      take up drums at the age of 10. He went 
      professional after studying with Dave Brubeck's 
      drummer, Alan Dawson, at Berklee College of 
      Music, in his native Boston, in the late 1950s. 

      Though able to fit into all kinds of jazz 
      circumstances - he appeared on a 1959 Chet 
      Baker record playing Lerner and Loewe songs - it 
      was the increasingly experimental New York and 
      Chicago scenes of the 1960s that appealed to him. 
      He worked with major creative figures, such as 
      Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane, and was a 
      powerful presence on trumpeter Freddie 
      Hubbard's celebrated album, Hub Tones. 

      Jarvis joined Sun Ra in 1961 and stayed for most 
      of the decade. Sun Ra's biographer, John Szwed, 
      describes one of the bandleader's demanding 
      rehearsals, during which he berated other 
      drummers for not having the Jarvis spark - or, 
      for that matter, his explosive temper. 

      Jarvis was both a reflective and an impulsive 
      man, and he liked to make things happen onstage 
      and off. When the Arkestra's band-bus crashed in 
      Nevada in 1969, and they were forced to hire a 
      motel near the small town of Lovelock, he 
      wandered off to amiably shout "Howdy, pardners" 
      at the locals. He was being held at gunpoint when 
      Sun Ra found him, and they had to escape the motel 
      by the back door when rifle-toting townsfolk 
      turned up outside. 

      It was symptomatic of Clifford Jarvis's playing 
      that he stretched sensibilities and techniques and 
      broke habits. He lit fires in the bands of Pharoah 
      Sanders and Archie Shepp through the 1970s, and 
      worked again with Sun Ra in 1983 on a tour that 
      included Lester Bowie, Shepp and Don Cherry. 

      After his arrival in England he led a band called 
      the Prophets Of Jazz for a while. He had started 
      teaching history in the United States, and 
      continued in Britain until the onset of his recent 
      illness. 

      Impatience with the paperwork of fundraising and 
      tour organisation hampered Jarvis's career as a 
      bandleader, and his highly indi vidual style could 
      not always be fitted into the ensembles of others. 
      But many local musicians, and musical education 
      in Hackney, where he taught, benefited immensely 
      from his example 

      Jazz as a whole is the poorer without him and 
      plans are already afoot for possible jazz 
      educational schemes bearing his name. 

      * Clifford Osbourne Jarvis, jazz musician, born 
      August 26 1941; died November 26, 1999 
       

Clifford Jarvis dead
                  The fashion for navel gazing is as rampant in jazz at the end of the century as it is elsewhere. The view is not good. Jazz has lost its great figures like Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, and nobody has come up to replace them. Young musicians need icons. The music has been stripped of them. And the days when musicians learned their craft through the hardship of touring with bands on the road are long gone and instead we are in the age of the educator. 

                  Educator? The word reeks of passionless civil service, and that's not far off the mark. Most jazz musicians today are technically efficient and highly trained, but there are few indeed with the combination of genius and fire that gave us Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. 

                  Clifford Jarvis was in at the beginning of jazz education as far as the drums were concerned. His father and his grandfather were both trumpeters and they persuaded him to take up the drums when he was ten. After he had won a diploma in electronics in 1954, his father persuaded Alan Dawson, a fine jazz drummer, to give Jarvis lessons. He became Dawson's first pupil, and when Dawson went on to become an 'educator' at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Jarvis followed him there and studied with him at Berklee until 1958.  Dawson proved to be an outstanding teacher and, having provided the raw material, Jarvis went on to become almost as good. 

                While still at the college, Jarvis played professionally in Boston with the pianist Jaki Byard and saxophonist Sam Rivers. Jarvis moved to New York in 1959 and slipped with ease into the top echelon of the city's jazz drummers. He began by recording with Chet Baker and Randy Weston and the following year began a long association with the brilliant trumpeter Freddie Hubbard.  Never a prominent or aggressive drummer, Jarvis made his best album with Hubbard, 'Hub-Tones', done for Blue Note in 1962. His sympathetic playing led him into piano trios led by Barry Harris, with whom he stayed for almost two years, and Elmo Hope.  He also played for guitarist Grant Green and for the eccentric multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk. Kirk probably fired Jarvis's interest in the more unorthodox jazz backwaters, and his interest in free form music led him first to Sun Ra's Arkestra.
              This was to be a long association and the two men recorded several times together between 1962 and 1976. Jarvis was happiest on the wilder shores of the music and he worked for the avant garde tenor saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, appearing with him at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972.  Pianists Alice Coltrane, Kenny Drew and Walter Davis all used him when they made recordings. He joined another far out saxophone player, Archie Shepp, in 1976 and remained in the band until 1981, leaving Shepp to go to Norway to work for 14 weeks with local musicians. When Sun Ra put together an all star band for an international tour in 1983, Jarvis rejoined and worked in the band with Lester Bowie, Don Cherry and Shepp. At this time he worked as a drum teacher at the University of Massachusetts and in other New England colleges. 

                  Against the run of play, for he seemed to be doing well in his home country, Jarvis moved to England in the middle Eighties. He formed a band here called The Prophets of Jazz and played with trumpeter Harry Beckett and tenor saxophonist Courtney Pine.  He was a member of Chris McGregor's band for a time and also worked with the French trumpeter Michel Marre. Surprisingly for one who had kept such eminent company over the years, his career dwindled to nothing, and apart from an appearance with saxophonist Jean Toussaint in 1991, little was heard from him beyond his work with local bands. 

~Steve Voce 
Clifford Osbourne Jarvis, drummer, born Boston,
26 August 1941, died in England, 26 November 1999.
 
NY TIMES
        
 
 
 
 
       
 

OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
 
 
 
 
 

 
BIOGRAPHY
 
 
All-Music Guide
    
born:August 26 1941
died November 26 1999
 
 A solid drummer in either free or hard bop settings, Clifford Jarvis was featured on several '60s and '70s albums. He proved both a consistently engaging, rhythmically diverse and sound drummer and a good percussionist, adding textures and colors on African and Latin instruments. Jarvis studied at Berklee with Alan Dawson in the mid and late '50s, then moved to New York. He recorded with Chet Baker, Randy Weston, Yusef Lateef, Freddie Hubbard, Barry Harris, Jackie McLean and Elmo Hope from 1959 to 1966, while also playing with Grant Green and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.   Jarvis worked with Sun Ra from 1962 to 1976, cutting several records. He also played with Pharoah Sanders, and recorded with Sonny Simmons, Alice Coltrane and Sanders in the early '70s.  Jarvis subsequently recorded with Kenny Drew and Walter Davis in the late '70s, and with Archie Shepp in 1985. He can be heard on reissues by Sanders, Hubbard and others. -- Ron Wynn,  All-Music Guide
 
 
  
 
 

OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
 
 
 
 

 LINKS
  
 
 
 
 
 

OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
Discography
1953 
     Ra, Sun 
                          Sound Sun Pleasure  
  
 1954 
     Ra, Sun 
                          Singles  
  
 1958 
     Baker, Chet 
                          Art of the Ballad  
  
  
 1959             Baker, Chet            Chet Baker Plays  
                                                           
 1959 
     Baker, Chet 
                          Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner  

                                                           
 1960 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Open Sesame  
                                                            
 1960 
     Ra, Sun 
                          Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Co  

                                                            
 1960 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Ballads  
                                                           
 1961 
     Harris, Barry 
                          Newer Than New  
                                                           
 1961 
     Ra, Sun 
                          Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy/Art   

                                                           
 1962 
     Ra, Sun  
                          When the Sun Comes Out  
                                                           
 1962 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Hub-Tones  
                                                           
 1962 
     Harris, Barry 
                          Chasin' the Bird  
                                                           
 1965 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Blue Spirits  
                                                           
 1965 
     McLean, Jackie 
                          Right Now  
                                                           
 1966 
     Hope, Elmo 
                          Final Sessions, Vol. 1  
                                                          
 1966 
     Ra, Sun  
                          Nothing Is  
                                                            
 1966 
     Hope, Elmo 
                          Final Sessions, Vol. 2  
                                                            
 1966 
     Hope, Elmo 
                          Final Sessions  
                                                            
 1967 
     Blue Note Rare Grooves 
                          Blue Note Rare Grooves  
                                                            
 1967 
     Ra, Sun  
                          Atlantis  
                                                           
 1968 
     Ra, Sun  
                          Pictures of Infinity  
                                                           
 1968 
     Patton, John 
                          That Certain Feeling  
                                                            
 1968 
     Coltrane, Alice 
                          Reflection on Creation and Space  

                                                          
 1968 
     Ra, Sun  
                          Outer Spaceways Incorporated  
                                                           
 1969 
     Ra, Sun 
                          My Brother the Wind, Vol. 2  
                                                            
 1970 
     Sanders, Pharoah 
                          Sumnen, Bukmen, Umyun  
                                                            
 1970 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Best of Freddie Hubbard [Columbia]  

                                                            
 1970 
     Sanders, Pharoah 
                          Thembi  
                                                           
 1976 
     Ra, Sun  
                          Sun Ra and His Arkestra Live at Mon  

                                                            
 1977 
     Drew, Kenny 
                          Ruby My Dear  
                                                            
 1979 
     Shepp, Archie 
                          Attica Big Band  
                                                            
 1979 
     Dyani, Johnny 
                          African Bass  
                                                          
1979 
     Kessler, Siegfried 
                          Invitation  
                                                            
 1979 
     Shepp, Archie 
                          Bird Fire: A Tribute to Charlie Parker  

                                                            
 1987 
     Beckett, Harry 
                          Live, Vol. 2  
                                                            
 1991 
     Watkiss, Cleveland 
                          Green Chimneys  
                                                            
 1991 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Best of Freddie Hubbard  

                                                            
 1996 
     Blue Note Plays Sinatra 
                          Blue Note Plays Sinatra  
                                                            
 1996 
     Shepp, Archie 
                          Live at the Totem  
                                                            
 1996 
     Shepp, Archie 
                          Parisian Concert, Vol. 1  
                                                            
 1997 
     Priceless Jazz Sampler 
                          Priceless Jazz Sampler  
                                                           
 1997 
     Sanders, Pharoah 
                          Priceless Jazz Collection  
                                                           
 1997 
     Hubbard, Freddie 
                          Jazz Profile  
                                                            
 1998 
     Ra, Sun  
                          Calling Planet Earth  
                                                           
 1998 
     Coltrane, Alice 
      Priceless Jazz  
                   
  
     Great Jazz Artists Play 
     Great Jazz Artists Play Composition                                                                 
  
      Shepp, Archie 
      Maple Leaf Rag                                                            
  
      Shepp, Archie   
      Live at the Totem, Vol.  1                                                         
  
     Fuller, Curtis 
     Images of                                                            
  
     Hubbard, Freddie 
     Freddie Hubbard [Blue Note]  
 

 
OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
 
  
 
 
FULLER UP
HOME
GRIM REAPER
PAGE
CAUSES OF
DEATH
SEARCH BY
NAME
GET IN
TOUCH
SHAMEFUL DISCLAIMER
 
 
 
TOP