CLARK TERRY - The Incomparable

Product Code: CCD 71808
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Clark Terry (trumpet, flugel horn, vocal) with Tommy Flanagan(piano);Harry Edison(trumpet); Jimmy Knepper(trombone);  Jesse Davis (alto sax) Yusef Lateef (tenor sax); Seldon Powell (tenor sax) Barry Harris (piano); Milt Hinton (bass); Bobby Durham (drums) and others.

 

The irrepressible Clark Terry, grand master of jazz, universally admired and loved, died on February 20th 2015 at the age of 94. His unique style of playing so instantly recognisable became known throughout the world. He was as equally at home in the big bands of Charlie Barnet, Count Basie and Duke Ellington as with small groups or recording with Cecil Taylor or Thelonious Monk. His sound was an inspiration to the Duke who wrote a number of pieces specifically for him.

 

Influenced by Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge, Clark in turn influenced Miles Davis and the entire school of trumpeting as well as popularising the flugel-horn. Terry was also no mean vocalist and his blues inspired vocals which he sang in a unique wordless vocal style typified his outgoing fun loving personality. This commemoration of his genius features Terry in a variety of settings made for CANDID between 1960 and 1993 with his own combos as well as those of Cecil Taylor, The Basie Alumni and Seldon Powell.

 

Described by Miles Davis as one of the best in the world at playing the flugelhorn if not the best, CT was responsible for the ever increasing popularity of the larger horn in jazz, using it regularly on gigs and recordings. He was already featuring it on his seminal Candid album Color Changes (CCD 79009) produced by Nat Hentoff in 1960 from which the first track No Problem in this tribute appears. The tune is an original by Duke Jordan that first served as a theme for the French film Liasons Dangeureuses. This arrangement is by Al Cohn. “When I was in Paris in 1959” Clark explained “all the guys were using this as a standard jamming tune and I became very fond of it.”

 

His next Candid appearance for Hentoff was in January 1961 when he was allied with Cecil Taylor together with Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy and others on recordings made under the nominal leadership of bassist Buell Neidlinger. Cecil had long been an admirer of the Duke and Clark’s (on the face of it) somewhat incongruous appearance on an avant garde session made musical sense as his Ellington connections and versatility made him a cornerstone on two Ducal tracks - Jumpin’ Punkins (included here) and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be . On his solo on the former Terry rides smoothly over the band, managing to insert some of his trademark humour into what by all accounts was a somewhat fraught atmosphere in the studio!

 

Clark sends us out into Broadway warm and content with this super display of his amazing all round talent. Those who were present will surely remember the evening well and the rest of the world will Keep on Keepin’on remembering him with love and gratitude for having had him touch their lives for so long

 

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