Rest In Peace, Clare Fischer

Clare Fischer, whose Big Band I performed with in Los Angeles 11 days ago, passed away last night at age 83.  I only discovered Clare's music after being called to sub in his big band shortly after moving to Los Angeles, and wow, what a stroke of luck for me.  He was an orchestral composer writing for big band, that's the best way to describe the sound he gets from 17 instruments.  It was and is big band/jazz chamber music, with each chair in the band acting as soloist at one point or another during any given tune - - a rare feat in big band arranging.  I'd never heard anything like his harmonic sense and still haven't ever had more fun playing in a big band.  Playing with the great musicians in Clare's band and just listening and absorbing his music during rehearsals and performances has had a big influence on the continued development of my jazz improvisation.  It was the first truly great band I had a chance to perform with in L.A., and I will always cherish Clare's music and influence.  Rest in peace, Clare Fischer.