Note: Line-up may vary slightly for individual concerts
This new project focuses on authentic performances of both classics and neglected gems from the discography of pioneering bebop drummer Kenny Clarke (1914-1985), either as a leader or sideman. It covers the “golden age” of bebop in the 1940s through cool jazz to the emergence of hard bop in the mid-1950s. Clarke’s discography is unusually rich and diverse, as he played on hundreds of recordings (“sides”) during this period with almost all the major figures of both the swing and bop eras.
Those featured in the project’s repertoire include:
“Giants of 1940s Bebop” - Charlie Christian, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Fats Navarro and Tadd Dameron;
“Pioneers of Hard Bop” - Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, J.J. Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Pepper Adams, Hank Mobley, Nat Adderley, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Kenny Burrell, Hank Jones, Horace Silver, Tommy Flanagan, Oscar Pettiford and Paul Chambers.
Credited as the father of bebop - and, ultimately, modern jazz - drumming, Clarke himself became ultimately the embodiment of “straight-ahead” playing, instantly recognisable on recordings for the effortless swing of his ride-cymbal time patterns.
The project is named after the June 1955 album “Bohemia After Dark”, a high point in Clarke’s recording career (as leader) before his emigration to Europe, and the recording debut for Cannonball and Nat Adderley, ushering in a new phase in the development of hard bop. While the title composition refers to the “Café Bohemia” jazz club that had opened in New York just a few months earlier, an association with evenings of great jazz in Bohemia’s capital city is hard to resist!