Ron McClure

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Ron McClure at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California, June 21, 1987

Ron McClure (born November 22, 1941) is a bassist who has played in hard bop, jazz-rock, free jazz and bebop sessions and bands.

Early life[edit]

McClure was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He started on piano at age five, and later played accordion and bass. McClure studied privately with Joseph Iadone and, later, with Hall Overton and Don Sebesky. McClure attended the Hartt School of Music,[1] graduating in 1963.

Later life and career[edit]

McClure worked in the Buddy Rich Sextet in 1963. He then joined Maynard Ferguson's big band[1] and, afterwards, Herbie Mann in 1964; and then assumed the bass chair in the Wynton Kelly Trio vacated by Paul Chambers in 1965 (playing behind guitarist Wes Montgomery).

From 1966 to 1969 he was a member of Charles Lloyd's "classic quartet" together with pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer Jack DeJohnette,[2] which was voted "Group of the Year" in 1967 by Downbeat Magazine.

In 1970, together with pianist-composer Mike Nock, drummer Eddie Marshall and violinist Michael White, he co-founded the jazz-rock group "The Fourth Way". He also participated in Carla Bley's innovative album, "Escalator over the Hill".

During the 1970s, McClure worked with saxophonist Joe Henderson, with whom he joined Blood, Sweat & Tears. Henderson left before recordings were made but McClure performed on three albums: Mirror Image, New City, Live And Improvised. Henderson and McClure recorded four joint albums.

In the 1980s, McClure joined Quest, led by saxophonist Dave Liebman, which also included drummer Billy Hart and pianist Richie Beirach.[3] He also recorded a duo album with pianist Michel Petrucciani. McClure's major engagements in the 1990s through the early 2000s were with Lee Konitz, and then with the reassembled Quest.

McClure has done sessions as a leader for Ode, Bellaphon, EPC, Steeplechase, and Ken Music. His solo output include the contributions of John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Vic Juris, Paul Bley, Richie Beirach and Randy Brecker, amongst other jazz musicians.


Ron McClure (left) with guitarist Johnny Alegre (center) and drummer Billy Hart (right). This photo was taken in New York City when they recorded "Johnny Alegre 3" for MCA Music.

As leader[edit]

  • McJolt (SteepleChase, 1990)
  • Never Forget (SteepleChase, 1991)
  • Tonite Only (SteepleChase, 1991)
  • Sunburst (SteepleChase, 1992)
  • Inner Account (SteepleChase, 1993)
  • Never Always (SteepleChase, 1995)
  • Concrete Canyon (SteepleChase, 1996)
  • Closer to Your Tears (SteepleChase, 1997)
  • Dream Team (SteepleChase, 1998)
  • Soft Hands (SteepleChase, 2006)

As sideman[edit]

With Burak Bedikyan

  • Leap of Faith (SteepleChase)

With Carla Bley

With Paul Bley

With Stanley Cowell

With Joe Henderson

With Charles Lloyd

With Julian Priester

With George Russell

With Michel Petrucciani


  1. ^ a b Efman, Donald (2010-02-11). "Ron McClure: Lookout Farms and New Moons". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  2. ^ May, Chris (2008-08-18). "Dream Weaver - The Charles Lloyd Anthology - The Atlantic Years 1966-1969". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  3. ^ Kelman, John (2007-04-13). "Redemption - Quest Live in Europe". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-06-26.