Clare Fischer


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clare Fischer, a Grammy-winning composer who wrote scores for television and movies and worked with legendary musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, has died. He was 83.

Fischer died Thursday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago, family spokeswoman Claris Sayadian-Dodge said.

An uncommonly versatile musician, Fischer worked as a composer, arranger, conductor and pianist for more than 60 years.

He is best known for his arrangements for Prince, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Branford Marsalis, Raphael Saadiq, Usher and Brandy.

Nominated for a Grammy 11 times in the Best Instrumental Arrangement category, Fischer won in 1986 for his album "Free Fall" and in 1981 for "Salsa Picante plus 2+2."

Born in Durand, Mich., Fischer got his start playing piano and writing jazz-inspired arrangements for the group The Hi-Lo's, an a capella quartet popular in the 1950s.

He worked as the arranger on Gillespie's "Jazz Portrait of Duke Ellington."

Fischer recorded 51 albums over his lifetime with his son Brent Fischer. The music ranges in style from jazz to salsa to symphonies.

"Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept," Herbie Hancock is quoted as saying on Fischer's website.

"(Fischer) and Bill Evans, and Ravel and Gil Evans, finally. You know, that's where it really came from. Almost all of the harmony that I play can be traced to one of those four people and whoever their influences were," Hancock said.

Clare Fischer is survived by his wife, Donna; sons Lee and Brent; daughter Tahlia; and three grandchildren.


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Guest Book

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My encounter with Clare Fischer left me with the impression of him as a sweet person. During a nightclub performance, at intermission, I told him I was looking for the sheet music of his composition, "Morning", but couldn't find it. He asked me for my address and he sent it to me, the manuscript written in his own hand! I laminated it to preserve it, and enjoy playing it to this day.

I got to speak with Clare Fischer at an engagement of his in L.A. I told him I wanted to learn his composition, "Mourning", but couldn't find the music. He took down my address and sent me the music. It was in his own hand! What a gentleman.

Dear Donna & Family,

He was a great saxophonist & teacher and will truley be missed in the music world!

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

May it be a comfort to you to know that God, as well as others, care about your feelings at this time.

sherri - indiana

To the the family of Clare Fischer - May God give you peace and comfort through his word and the Lord Jesus Christ during this time of sorrow, I know that he will be missed by many.

If only we can save his genius-ness. Talented people deserve their due and indeed Clare Fischer was talented. We mourn his death and pray for comfort. He is gone to sleep but his memory will live until we see him again in paradise.