Nigel Clark
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Nigel Clark

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"Comment..."

Dear Scottish Guitar Quartet,

Carla Bley and I listened to "A Different Point Of View" last night with great pleasure. Thanks for giving it to me when we met with Paolo Bellinati not long ago. We both loved the ways you've found to play together and to make the jazz idiom work in this instrumentation. Beyond that the writing and the playing are of the highest order. Congratulations; I hope our paths cross again.

Best Wishes, Steve Swallow. - From Steve Swallow


"SGQ At Open Strings Festival, Germany"

The Scots (Guitar Quartet) performed most wonderfully.
The four virtuosos, of whom Nigel Clark matches the brilliance of the famous John McLaughlin/Paco De Lucia/Al Di Meola Trio, began with strongly organised music which quoted from Baroque and Impressionist styles and in little flourishes introduced aspects of World, Folk and Jazz. Later these elements were reinforced with extended improvisations and mainstream jazz and Gypsy-swing in which each player became by turns soloist and accompanist. The resulting diversity made for a breathtaking event.

Ulrich Olshausen. - FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE


"Various Press Quotes"


“There are few guitarists in any idiom matching the supreme mastery of Nigel Clark.”

THE SHETLAND TIMES

“Nigel has the ability to dazzle with stunning technique, and his uncanny knack for intriguing harmonic twists and turns must surely place him well up there as a guitarist of international stature.

EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS

“Equipped for formidable technique… and full tilt attack the guitarist delivers nervously bristling lines interspersed with some less phonetic suggestions. The opposites attract in a thoroughly cohesive fashion.”

THE HERALD

“Nigel Clark’s apparently effortless fantasy ..was an unforgettable experience.”

THE SHETLAND TIMES

“ While influenced by the great Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt - the artist rounds out his overall attack with rippling single note leads, and classically tinged, flamenco-style expressionism.”

ALL ABOUT JAZZ

“ the jazz improvisations by Nigel Clark are in our opinion representative of the highest possible level in creative virtuosity!”

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC NETWORK - (Publishers given by quote)


"PHILIP CATHERINE/NIGEL CLARK DUO, City Halls, Glasgow"

Followers of British jazz from the early 1970s remember Philip Catherine with affection for his contributions to Mike Gibb's Only Chrome Waterfall Orchestra. The London-born , Belgian-national guitarist brought his finely honed compositional talents and a very individual tender touch to Gibb's work and his subsequent neglect in these parts - his last visit to Scotland was with Dutch progressive rockers Focus in 1976 - has long required to be redressed.
This auspicious debut by Catherine's partnership with leading Scots guitarist Nigel Clark has certainly started the ball rolling. The pair, who have been in communication rather than rehearsals, could have taken an easier option of playing mutually acceptable jazz standards. Instead, they showed ambition by presenting each other with mostly their own compositions, and it payed off handsomely.
Their respective playing styles and instruments contrast with and complement each other: Catherine retaining his essentially melodic approach on steel-strung guitar, Clark continuing to romp with keen urgency on nylon strings. The effect is a warm, full sound and music that's by turns adventurous and considered, lyrical and energetic.
Clark's love of Brazilian rhythms, even on a piece inspired by a trip to Japan, brought out imaginitive variations from both players, and his suitably romantic A Summer Affair allowed Catherine to show a gentle depth of feeling that only emphasised the unfairness of his being so long overlooked.
If anything, Catherine's pieces, the extended Birth of Janet and the playful Dance For Victor particularly, boded even better for a duo that as well as raising Catherine's profile locally could be the international outlet that Clark's talents have long merited.

ROB ADAMS - The Herald


Discography

"Worldwide Sound" (Sienna Records) 1997
"Grand Hotel Europa" (Arkadia Jazz) 2001

“NIGEL CLARK LIVE IN CONCERT” (ARKADIA DVD available Autumn 2006)

Filmed at the Russian Cultural Centre, Glasgow, Nigel Clark with Ewen Vernal, bass and Mike Bradley, drums perform a sparkling set of original compositions and standards …."from John Coltrane to Carlos Santana".
The concert is a celebration of the different sounds of the world that have informed Nigel’s playing throughout the years; from the orient, to the smoky clubs of New York, and on to the hot summer nights of Brazil. Up-tempo bop ignites under the hands of the musicians and a distinctive and passionate amalgamation of gypsy music, jazz and Latin, is seen and heard as never before. In jazz musical telepathy is expected and with this concert DVD Nigel and company deliver the goods with distinctive bravura.

Bob Karcy, Arkadia Jazz

Photos

Bio

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Nigel was drawn to the guitar along with the rest of his generation. Influenced by the rock and blues music of the day, Nigel was also exposed to the gypsy genius Django Reinhardt, who made a big impression.
Nigel's natural talent was honed on many tours of the Scottish Highlands, the UK, France, Holland and Germany, playing fusion, Celtic Rock, blues and Gaelic music.
In 1987, Nigel joined the jazz/pop band Hue & Cry, opening for such arena rock artists as U2, Madonna (for an audience of 70,000 at London's Wembley Stadium) and Simply Red. The band also employed some of the biggest names in jazz on their recordings--Ron Carter, Dennis Chambers, John Faddis, Tito Puente, Michael and Randy Brecker, to name a few. As a Hue and Cry member Nigel contributed lead and rhythm guitars and arrangements to several UK top ten singles and two top ten albums. Treading the line between pop and jazz, the band occupied an artistic triumph that is rarely reached: crossing over.
Nigel's visibility in the pop world led to a high profile collaboration with Maire Brennan (the singer with Clannad and sister of Enya) a performance of "Tubular Bells"as featured soloist with the Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Ian Sutherland and a lasting musical connection with legendary Scottish jazz vocalist Carol Kidd with whom he has toured the world.
In the 90s, Nigel performed with Carla Bley and Steve Swallow at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, appeared with Spanish guitarist Ximo Tebar as special guests of Jan Akkerman at the North Sea Jazz Festival, and in Cannes, France, performed with Akkerman, Tebar, Terje Rypdal and Wolfgang Muthspiel in a band featuring 11 top European guitarists. He also worked on BBC TV as band leader/musical director for soul superstar Gloria Gaynor.
Nigel’s first jazz album as a leader, “Worldwide Sound”, was released on the Sienna label in 1997 and featured award winning British pianist Brian Kellock on piano, saxophonist Tim Garland (who played in Chick Corea's band), stellar London drummer Mike Bradley and legendary Scottish session bass player Ewen Vernal. Nigel composed all the music for the band and “Worldwide Sound” reached the top ten in the UK jazz charts.
The 11 guitar spectacle in Cannes was witnessed by Bob Karcy, CEO of New York label Arkadia Records, who was immediately struck by Nigel's deft playing. Karcy remembers "Nigel's fluid, improvised lines and note selections were so natural…I was very impressed, and he stood out from all the other guitarists." Over the next several years, the two kept in contact, ultimately leading to an exclusive recording contract with Arkadia Jazz.

In the new millenium Nigel has continued to set himself artistic challenges.
He has recorded and contributed compositions to three albums as a member of the Scottish Guitar Quartet - a rising force on the world guitar scene - performed in New York with bassist Lonnie Plaxico and percussionist Jeff Haynes, perfomed at the Moscow Boheme Jazz Festival with Russian violin star Oleg Ponomarev. He has also composed for, toured and recorded with French vocalist Caroline Moreau and recorded two albums with the virtuoso Russian Gypsy trio "Koshka".