Born: Nov 22, 1941 in New Haven, CT
Styles: Post-Bop, Hard Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Modal Music, Jazz Instrument
Instruments: Bass, Composer
A resourceful and flexible bassist, Ron McClure has thrived in hard bop, jazz-rock, and free and bebop sessions and bands. One of the finest upper register players on either acoustic or electric, his rhythmic skills are tremendous. McClure has also been an active educator since the early '70s, teaching at Berklee and Long Island University and doing workshops both nationally and internationally. He started on piano at age five, and later played accordion and bass. McClure studied privately with Joseph Iadone and attended the Hartt School of Music, graduating in 1963. He later studied composition with Hall Overton and Don Sebesky. McClure played with Buddy Rich in the mid-'60s, and worked and recorded with Marian McPartland, Herbie Mann, and Maynard Ferguson during that same period. McClure played in Wyton Kelly's band in 1966, then joined Charles Lloyd in 1967. The Lloyd group also included Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette, and enjoyed unusual popularity and publicity for a late-'60s jazz band. They were the first American group to play at a Soviet jazz festival, and also appeared at the Fillmore, one of the few jazz acts to play there. McClure was a founding member of the jazz-rock band the Fourth Way - with Michael White, Mike Nock, and Eddie Marshall - in 1968. They got a good response at the Newport and Montreux festivals in 1970, but disbanded in 1971 after a three-year stint. During the '70s, McClure played with Joe Henderson, Gary Burton, Mose Allison, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Liebman, Thelonious Monk, Tony Bennett, and Jarrett. He recorded with Jerry Hahn, Julian Priester, Cal Tjader, and the Pointer Sisters, and spent three years with Blood, Sweat & Tears in the mid-'70s. McClure played and recorded with George Russell, Tom Harrell, John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Mark Gray, Jimmy Madison, Adam Nussbaum, Richie Bierarch, Vincent Herring, Kevin Hayes, Bill Stewart, and Michel Petrucciani in the '80s and '90s. McClure has done sessions as a leader for Ode, Bellaphon, EPC, Steeplechase, and Ken Music. He has a few dates available on CD.
- Ron Wynn & Michael G. Nastos (All Music Guide)