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Gordon Goodwin remembers Clare Fischer

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Clare Fischer I learned so much from this man. It's hard to name a musician that exceeded his genius. Each solo he played was unique, no licks or patterns, executed with a remarkable touch on the piano.

His writing combined his own rich harmonic language with a love of melody and rhythmic distinction. He could be a pretty harsh taskmaster, but once told me “If I ever overstep, tell me to shut up. I'm just a big teddy bear."

Once I asked him why he wrote “Pensativa" in Gb, and Clare said “Now see, I just don't understand questions like that. Gb is a wonderful key with many appealing characteristics." I said, “oh...right."

Clare has a current Grammy nomination for “Best Instrumental Arrangement" from his new big band record “Continuum" produced by his talented son Brent. Our world has lost a strong advocate for musical truth and excellence and the rest of us can only aspire to try to fill the void left by this giant. RIP Clare, and thank you.
Gordon Goodwin

Clare Fischer, a Grammy-winning pianist, composer and arranger who crossed freely from jazz to Latin and pop music, working with Dizzy Gillespie, George Shearing, Natalie Cole and Joao Gilberto as well as Paul McCartney, Prince, Spike Lee and Michael Jackson, has died. He was 83.

Fischer died Thursday at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank of complications of a heart attack suffered two weeks ago, according to family spokeswoman Claris Dodge.
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