Dave Cliff (born 25 June 1944) is a British jazz guitarist.
David John “Dave” Cliff was born in Hexham, Northumberland. He began his career playing rhythm and blues in the Newcastle area. In 1967, he moved to Leeds and gained a diploma in jazz studies from Leeds College of Music while studying with bassist Peter Ind and Bernie Cash.
In 1971, after moving to London Cliff became established on the local scene. During 1976-1977 he toured Holland, Denmark, Italy and the UK with the Lee Konitz - Warne Marsh Quintet. The following year Cliff toured the UK with Soprano Summit (Kenny Davern and Bob Wilber). He worked increasingly as a freelance from the 1980s on.
His first album under his own name, The Right Time, was recorded in 1987. It featured Geoff Simkins on alto, and was the first of a number of albums with Simkins, with whom Cliff has collaborated extensively.
Cliff has appeared frequently at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in varied settings including Georgie Fame's Blue Flames, Mike Carr Trio, Irene Reid, the Dick Pearce Sextet and the Bruce Adams Quartet. He has worked extensively with visiting American musicians, including Slide Hampton, Nina Simone, Kenny Davern, George Masso, Spike Robinson, Herb Geller, Lanny Morgan, Harry Allen, Buddy Childers, Lew Tabackin, Mundell Lowe, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jack McDuff, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Richie Cole, and Ken Peplowski.
In 1998 Cliff won the BT Jazz Awards in the guitar category.
Cliff’s influences on guitar include Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, and he has also been extensively influenced by the Lennie Tristano school, whose influence he encountered when working and studying with Peter Ind.
Cliff is involved in Jazz education, teaching jazz guitar at London Trinity College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama & Birmingham Conservatoire. Cliff also teaches at the Glamorgan Summer jazz school, the Jamie Aebersold Summer School in London and at the Christiansand jazz course in Norway.
- With Geoff Simkins:
- The Right Time (LP)
- West Coast Blues (MC)
- Sipping At Bells (CD)
- The Music of Tadd Dameron (CD)
- With Allan Ganley and Geoff Simkins:
- Live at the Station
- With Phil DeGreg:
- Tranzatlantic Interplay
- With Bruce Adams:
- Always and Forever
- Live at Ronnie Scott’s
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