Clark Tracey

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Clark Tracey
Born (1961-05-02) 2 May 1961 (age 59)
London, England
Years active1978–present
Labels33 Jazz, Tentoten
Associated actsStan Tracey, Guy Barker, Claire Martin, Tina May

Clark Tracey BEM (born 5 February 1961) is a British jazz drummer, band leader, and composer.


Tracey first played piano and vibraphone before switching to drums at age 13, studying under Bryan Spring. Tracey played in several ensembles with his father Stan Tracey (1978 - 2013), including a quartet called Fathers and Sons with John and Alec Dankworth in the 1990s. In addition to his extensive work with his father, which took him to the USA, Australia, India, The Middle East, South America, Africa & Europe,Tracey has played with numerous visiting American musicians, notably Bud Shank, Johnny Griffin, Red Rodney, Sal Nistico, Conte Candoli, Barney Kessell, John Hicks and Pharoah Sanders throughout his career. He also worked and recorded with Buddy DeFranco and Martin Taylor (1984–86), then with Charlie Rouse (1988), Alan Skidmore in Hong Kong (1989), Tommy Smith (1989), and Claire Martin (1991-2004). In 2011 he replaced Tony Levin in the European Jazz Ensemble and toured and recorded with them until 2017.

He has led his own ensembles since the early 1980s; in these combos he has played with Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Guy Barker, Jamie Talbot, Mark Nightingale, Dave O'Higgins, Steve Melling, Nigel Hitchcock, Gerard Presencer, Mornington Lockett, Alex Ridout, Simon Allen, Kit Downes, Zoe Rahman and Alan Barnes. As a bandleader he has had two tours of the Far East, Yugoslavia, France, Gibraltar and Finland as well as many national UK tours. His sextet has included Alex Ridout, Daniel Higham, Elliott Sansom, and James Owston. Clark has worked steadily as a freelance musician and has appeared mostly in the groups of Alan Barnes, Simon Spillett, Steve Waterman, and Mark Nightingale.

He has been awarded "Best Drums" in the British Jazz Awards six times and in 2007 won "Best Drums" at the Ronnie Scott's Club Awards and his quintet won the Best Performance Award for Birmingham Jazz in 2006.

Tracey took over promotions for Herts Jazz in 2009 and runs a weekly jazz club in St Albans and an annual jazz festival. He owns two record labels, Tentoten Records and Resteamed Records, the latter dedicated to re-issues on CD of his father's recordings. Clark Tracey has been commissioned to write Exploring Jazz Drums for Schott Publishing, an instructional book, and The Godfather of British Jazz for Equinox Publishing, a biography of Stan Tracey. He is a visiting tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music and was asked to compose the jazz syllabus for Trinity College 2020-2024.

Tracey was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to music and the promotion of jazz.[1]

Stage and film[edit]


As leader[edit]

  • Suddenly Last Tuesday (Cadillac, 1986)
  • Stiperstones (Steam, 1987)
  • We've Been Expecting You (33 Jazz, 1992)
  • Full Speed Sideways (33 Jazz, 1994)
  • Stability (Linn, 2000)
  • The Calling (Tentoten, 2003)
  • British Standard Time (Tentoten, 2005)
  • The Mighty Sas (Tentoten, 2006)
  • Given Time (Tentoten, 2008)
  • Current Climate (Tentoten, 2008)
  • Special Septet with Steve Melling (Melljazz, 2011)
  • Meantime (Tentoten, 2014)
  • Jubilation (Tentoten, 2016)
  • No Doubt (Tentoten, 2018)

As sideman[edit]

With Claire Martin

  • The Waiting Game (Linn, 1992)
  • Devil May Care (Linn, 1993)
  • Old Boyfriends (Linn, 1994)
  • Off Beat (Linn, 1995)
  • Take My Heart (Linn, 1999)
  • Too Darn Hot! (Linn, 2002)
  • Secret Love (Linn 2004)
  • He Never Mentioned Love (Linn, 2007)

With Tina May

  • Never Let Me Go (33 Jazz, 1992)
  • Fun (33 Jazz, 1993)
  • It Ain't Necessarily So (33 Jazz, 1994)
  • Time Will Tell... (33 Jazz, 1995)

With Colin Towns

  • Mask Orchestra (The Jazz Label 1993)
  • Nowhere & Heaven (Provocateur, 1996)
  • Bolt from the Blue (Provocateur, 1997)

With Stan Tracey

  • South East Assignment (Steam, 1980)
  • The Crompton Suite (Steam, 1981)
  • Stan Tracey Now (Steam, 1983)
  • The Poets' Suite (Steam, 1984)
  • Live at Ronnie Scotts (Steam, 1986)
  • Genesis (Steam, 1987)
  • We Still Love You Madly (Mole, 1989)
  • Portraits Plus (Blue Note, 1992)
  • Live at the QEH (Blue Note, 1994)
  • For Heaven's Sake (Cadillac, 1996)
  • Solo: Trio (Cadillac, 1998)
  • Comme D'Habitude (Jazzizit, 1998)
  • The Durham Connection (33, 1999)
  • Seventy Something (Trio, 2004)
  • Let Them Crevulate (Trio, 2006)
  • The Later Works (ReSteamed, 2010)
  • A Child's Christmas Jazz Suite (ReSteamed, 2011)
  • Sound Check (ReSteamed, 2011)

With Steve Waterman

  • Stablemates (Mainstem, 2004)
  • Our Delight (Mainstem, 2006)
  • Night Lights (Mainstem, 2008)

With others


  1. ^ "No. 62666". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 2019. p. B30.

External links[edit]