Born Clifford Leeman, Portland Maine, 9/10/1913,
(died in New York, April 26, 1986).
[Also known as "Mr. Time" or "the Sheriff"] Cliff played
drums in many of the best swing bands of the '30s and '40s, including
Shaw, Barnet, both Dorseys and Woddy Herman.
In 1944 he led his own small band. Later in the 40s he played with Don Byas(1944), John Kirby (1944, 45), Ben Webster
and many others at clubs in New York and also int the big bands ofr Barnet (1949)
and Bob Chester (1949-50).
Besides working regularly on Raymond Scott's radio show
Hit Parade (CBS) throughout the 1950s he appeared frequently
at clubs such as Eddi Condon's and recorded as a member for groups
led by Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart (1951-60) and with Ralph Sutton (1953, 1954).
1960 in Las Vegas with Bob Crosby. He
appeared on TV w. Red Nichols and on Chicago and All That Jazz in
1961. With Wild Bill Davison, recorded and performed at Nicks in New York in 1962,
and toured with Lawson.
Haymes '63, Duke of Dixieland in Las Vegas and Mexico City '63-'64, Peanuts
Hucko at Eddie Condon's NYC in '64.
He appeared in several all-star jazz concerts at Aspen, Colorado
in the period 1963 to 1965 and toured Australia, New Zealand, Japan in
1964 with a large traditional group including Condon, Rushing, Clayton.
Columbia, SC JF '65 with Tony Parenti, At Hodes. Recorded with
Joe Turner (Atlantic) Bob Crosby (Dot), Condon (Columbia),
Steve Allen (Decca) and Billy Butterfield (Essex).
Later tours (1974 and 1976) he performed in Europe with Kings of
Jazz and Davison. In 1974 he recorded with Bud Freeman and
a group leb by Joe Venuti and Zoot Sims. In 1977-7 he worked again
with Lawson and Haggart as a member of The World's Greatest
He continued to perform at clubs and festivals until his last
years. A versatile and highly accomplished drummer, he was equally
well equipped to play in big and small bands.
Majority of bio by Johnny Simmen
material in the NjR
Also see, W.Vache Sr.:"Portraits: Cliff Leeman," MD, x/4 (1986), 45