British clarinetist David Shepherd dies at 87

DAVID SHEPHERD

DAVID SHEPHERD, 87, on Dec. 15 in Hampshire, England. Often billed as Great Britain’s answer to Benny Goodman because of his instrumental facility, centered tone and driving attack, which was considered comparable to that of his American idol. He adopted the clarinet at age 15 after seeing Freddy Mirfield’s Garbage Men whose clarinetist was a young John Dankworth.

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He joined Joe Daniels and his Hot Shots in 1951, the year he turned professional and made his recording debut. He toured frequently with Teddy Wilson and regularly put together quintet presentations (often using other Goodman alumni) based on the maestro’s music. It was reported that Goodman once said: “He plays more like me than I do.”

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