Mike Clark (jazz musician)

Last updated
Mike Clark
Mike Clark (musician).jpg
Background information
Birth nameMichael Jeffrey Clark
Born (1946-10-03) October 3, 1946 (age 74)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Years active1970s–present
Labels Ropeadope Records, Sony, Random Acts, P-Vine, Owl Studios
Associated acts Herbie Hancock, The Headhunters, Eddie Henderson, Brand X
Website www.drummermikeclark.com

Michael Jeffrey Clark (born October 3, 1946) is an American drummer. He gained worldwide recognition as one of America's foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock in the early 1970s. His incisive playing on Hancock's Actual Proof garnered him an international cult following and influenced generations of drummers throughout the world. [1]


Michael Jeffrey Clark was born in Sacramento, California, United States. He traveled around the country with his father, a drummer himself and a union man for the railroad. [1] His dad had a great appreciation for jazz and blues music, and Mike absorbed the music of America while riding the rails. He credits this exposure as forming the foundation for his ability to synthesize many different regional styles. From age 4, he was a prodigy, sitting in - and getting "house"- with bands in Texas and New Orleans. By the time he reached his early twenties he was known as one of the founders of the distinctive East Bay Sound coming out of Oakland, California. [2]

Mike has performed with such well-known jazz greats as Herbie Hancock, [3] Christian McBride, Chet Baker, John Scofield, Nicholas Payton, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Vince Guaraldi, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Albert King, Larry Coryell, Michael Wolff, Wallace Roney, Billy Childs, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Chris Potter, Bobby McFerrin, Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown Jr., and Gil Evans and his orchestra. [3]

His latest recordings include "Retro Report" with Delbert Bump on Rope-a-Dope label, [4] "Life Cycle" with Mark Sherman, Chase Baird, and Felix Pastorius, also on Rope-a-Dope; [5] Eddie Henderson's "Be Cool" on the Smoke label; [6] Charnett Moffett's "Music from Our Soul" on Motima; [7] and "Indigo Blue: Live at the Iridium" [8] with Christian McBride, Donald Harrison, Rob Dixon, Randy Brecker, and Antonio Farao on Highnote. [9]

Clark endorses DW drums, Istanbul Agop cymbals, Evans drumheads, and Innovative Percussion drumsticks. He has played Remo drumheads, Vic Firth drumsticks, Zildjian cymbals, and Paiste cymbals in the past.


1974 Herbie Hancock Thrust Columbia
1974Herbie Hancock Death Wish Columbia
1974 Betty Davis They Say I'm Different Just Sunshine
1975Herbie Hancock Man-Child Columbia
1975Herbie Hancock Flood CBS/Sony [Japan]
1975 The Headhunters Survival of the Fittest Arista
1976 Eddie Henderson Heritage Blue Note
1976 Alphonso Johnson Yesterday's Dreams Epic
1977The HeadhuntersStraight From the GateArista
1979 Brand X Product Passport
1979Brand X Do They Hurt? Passport
1981 Jack Walrath Group (with Ricky Ford) Revenge of the Fat People Stash
1983Jack Walrath Quintet Jack Walrath Quintet at Umbria Jazz Festival, Vol. 1 Red Records
1983Jack Walrath Quintet Jack Walrath Quintet at Umbria Jazz Festival, Vol. 2 Red Records
1984 Percy Jones EnsemblePropeller MusicHot Wire [Germany]
1989Mike Clark Sextet (with Ricky Ford, Jack Walrath) Give the Drummer Some Stash
1989 Jack Wilkins TrioCall Him RecklessMusicMasters/BMG
1991Jack WilkinsAlien ArmyMusicMasters/BMG
1992Mike Clark & Paul Jackson (with Kenny Garrett) The Funk Stops Here Tiptoe/Enja
1992Suzanne PittsonBlues and the Abstract TruthVineland
1993Mike Clark Group Jim Payne's New York Funk! Vol. 1 Gramavision
1994Marc PuricelliMelting PointMusicMasters/BMG
1995Mike Clark The Headhunter: Master Drummers, Volume Three Ubiquity
1995Marc PuricelliShadeMusicMasters/BMG
1996 Dave Ellis RavenMonarch
1997 Henry "The Skipper" Franklin (with Phil Vieux, Marc Seales)The HunterResurgent Music
1998The HeadhuntersReturn of the Headhunters!Hancock/Verve Forecast
1999John Tank QuartetCanadian SunsetTCB Records
1999Mike Clark (with Billy Childs, Chris Potter) Summertime JazzKey Music
2000Mike Clark Actual Proof Platform
2001Mike Clark / Paul Jackson / Marc Wagnon Conjunction Buckyball
2003The HeadhuntersEvolution Revolution Basin Street
2003The Mackrosoft1st Mack to the MoonMackrosoft
2003The MackrosoftLife Imitates CloudsMackrosoft
2003 George Pajon, Jr. Fried PlantainsKufala Recordings
2004 Michael Wolff & Impure ThoughtsDangerous Vision Artemis
2004 Reuben Wilson Fun House Savant
2005Rebecca Barry and the HeaduntersRebecca Barry and the HeaduntersRebecca Barry Productions
2005The MackrosoftAntonio's GiraffeMackrosoft
2006Mike Clark Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. 1 Talking House
2006Michael WolffLove and DestructionWrong Records
2007Tony AdamoStraight Up DealUrbanZone
2007Jerry StuckerIt's All a GrooveUrbanZone
2008The HeadhuntersOn Top: Live in EuropeBHM Productions
2009Mike Clark's Prescription Renewal (with Fred Wesley, Skerik, Robert Walter, Charlie Hunter) Live at the Fox Theatre P-Vine [Japan]
2010Mike Clark Carnival of Soul Owl Studios
2011The Headhunters Platinum Owl Studios
2013Michael Wolff / Mike ClarkWolff & Clark ExpeditionRandom Act
2013 Jeff Berlin Low StandardsRandom Act
2013Tony AdamoMiles of BluRandom Act
2013Chester "CT" ThompsonMixologyDoodlin' Records
2015Michael Wolff / Mike ClarkWolff & Clark Expedition 2Random Act
2015Mike Clark / Gaetano Letizia / Wilbur KrebsFroggy & the ToadsLetizia Music
2015Tony Adamo & the New York CrewTony Adamo & the New York CrewUrbanZone
2015Jerry WeldonOn the Move!Doodlin' Records
2016 Dylan Taylor (with Larry Coryell) One in Mind Blujazz Productions
2017 Charnett Moffett Music From Our Soul Motéma Music
2017Mike Clark & Delbert Bump (with Elias Lucero)Retro Report Ropeadope
2018Eddie Henderson (with Donald Harrison, Kenny Barron)Be Cool Smoke Sessions
2018Venture (Mike Clark, Mark Sherman, Chase Baird, Felix Pastorius)Life CycleRopeadope
2018Tony AdamoWas Out Jazz Zone MadRopeadope
2018Rob Dixon Trio (with Charlie Hunter)Coast to CrossroadsRob Dixon Productions
2019Mike Clark (with Christian McBride, Donald Harrison, Randy Brecker)Indigo Blue: Live at the IridiumRopeadope
2019DSC (Leon Lee Dorsey, Greg Skaff, Mike Clark)Monk TimeJazz Avenue 1
2020Eddie Henderson (with Donald Harrison, Kenny Barron)Shuffle and DealSmoke Sessions
2020Wolff / Clark / Dorsey (Michael Wolff, Mike Clark, Leon Lee Dorsey)Play Sgt. PepperJazz Avenue 1
2021Michael Wolff (with Mark Isham, Mike Clark, John B. Williams)Live @ Vitellos Sunnyside
2021Leon Lee Dorsey (with Harold Mabern, Mike Clark)Thank You Mr. MabernJazz Avenue 1
2021Mike Clark & Michael ZilberMike DropSunnyside

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  1. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-08-26. Retrieved 2018-03-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Mike Clark finally back in Bay Area for series of shows". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  3. 1 2 "Bio". Drummermikeclark.info. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-03-10. Retrieved 2018-03-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. [ dead link ]
  6. "Trumpeter Eddie Henderson to Release New Album "Be Cool" on May 4th, 2018". News.theUrbanMusicScene.com. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  7. "Charnett Moffett - Music From Our Soul (2017, CD)". Discogs.com. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  8. Mike Clark, Indigo Blue (Live at Iridium). Review by Alex Henderson, NYCJR, October 2019, Issue 210, page 35 - retrieved 2 October 2019.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-03-10. Retrieved 2018-03-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)