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January 28, 2012

Arranger Clare Fischer dies at 83

Los Angeles Times:

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

Fischer died Thursday at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank of complications from a heart attack he had two weeks ago, said family spokeswoman Claris Dodge.

Although he entered professional music through jazz, his expansive creative perspective quickly grew to embrace many other musical areas.

"I relate to everything," he explained in 1987 in The Times. "I'm not just jazz, Latin or classical. I really am a fusion of all of those." He went on to describe his fascination with Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Bartok, as well as Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Lee Konitz, Tito Puente and boogie-woogie pianist Meade Lux Lewis.

Regardless of genre, Fischer's arranging and composing invariably possessed a rich harmonic palette, one that attracted and influenced other musicians.

"Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept," Herbie Hancock said in a statement on Fischer's website. Hancock credited Fischer's arrangements for the 1950s vocal group the Hi-Lo's with significantly influencing his 1968 recording "Speak Like a Child." Read more.

Posted by acapnews at January 28, 2012 12:00 AM