Art of Jazz Celebration in Toronto
For the closing concert back at the Cellar, the surprise was not vocalese master Jon Hendricks' re-formation of his celebrated Lamberts, Hendricks and Ross trio, with his daughter Aria, and Kevin Fitzgerald Burke, nor the nearly perfect, scat-happy renditions of their hits, including "Cloudburst, "Moanin, or "Come on Home. It was the unannounced addition of the trumpet-king Clark Terry, whose ebullient spirit allowed him to burst from the confines of his wheelchair, as assistants helped him to the stage to a standing ovation before he played one note. With his muted horn, and his funny, scatological-if-they-were-intelligible, utterings, he and the Hendrickses did their own "rapping, riffing on Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-a-Ning and, of course, the blues, before Barry Harris (the unofficial patron saint of the festival), Jimmy Slyde, and Kevin Mahogany sat in.
Throughout all of the gigs, jams, master classes, clinics and concerts, Jane Bunnett, Larry Cramer, and the rest of the intrepid AOJ team presented a vivid and varied sonic microcosmos of jazz, determined by the downbeat, not the dollar.