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BOOK REVIEWS

Clark Terry with Gwen Terry: Clark - The Autobiography of Clark Terry

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Clark: The Autobiography of Clark TerryClark Terry with Gwen TerryHardcover; 344 pagesISBN: 9780520268463University of California Press2011There are many sad stories in jazz. Cornetist Joe Oliver lost his embouchure and ended up working as a janitor in a pool hall, singer Billie Holiday was arrested on her deathbed, trumpeter Lee Morgan was killed on stage by his enraged common-law wife--and that's just the tip of the iceberg. In contrast to the sorrowful histories that many jazz fans have come to expect, the autobiography of trumpeter and flugelhornist Clark Terry ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louie Bellson/Clark Terry: Louie & Clark Expedition 2

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Drummer Louie Bellson and trumpeter/flugelhornist Clark Terry first worked together in the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the '50s and the Duke or, as Terry always refers to him, “The Maestro," remains central to both players' jazz conception. This is more a Bellson big band project than a true collaboration, as Terry only appears on seven of the thirteen tracks and Bellson composed or co-wrote all thirteen. Carrying on in a decidedly Ellington vein, the first four tracks comprise “The Chicago Suite." The byplay between trumpet (Stepko Gut) and band on the suite's “City of Seasons," as well as the contrasting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louie Bellson & Clark Terry: Louie & Clark Expedition 2

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Drummer Louie Bellson and trumpeter Clark Terry trump age to front a big band with verve and youthful vitality. Though both are in their eighties, age has not diminished the wonderful ability they have shown through their long and distinguished careers to give jazz a glorious presence.

Bellson and Terry collaborated in 1994 on the big band recording, Live From New York (Telarc), which featured a track called “Louie and Clark Expedition." This, then, becomes another odyssey larger in dimension, which makes it a magnificent edifice that will long be remembered.

Fronting a seventeen-piece band, the music was composed by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louie Bellson and Clark Terry: Louie & Clark Expedition 2

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Louie & Clark Expedition 2 marks the historic reunion of legendary drummer Louie Bellson and trumpeter Clark Terry. While the title references the 1803 Lewis & Clark expedition, it's actually a reprisal of the big band effort Live From New York (Telarc, 1994), which featured the composition “Louie & Clark Expedition. Expedition 2 is more than an encore or swan song for the robust 83 year-old Bellson and 87 year-young Terry; it is, indeed, a celebration of life and a musical tribute to big band jazz.

The duo fronts a seventeen-piece ensemble and, with inspiration from Terry, invites ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bugle Call: Clark Terry's Live at Marihans & Ruby Braff's Controlled Nonchalance: Live at the Regattabar, Volume 2

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Clark Terry Live at Marihans Chiaroscuro 2005 Ruby Braff Controlled Nonchalance: Live at the Regattabar, Volume 2 Arbors Records 2005

At the invitation of the Bern International Jazz Festival in 2004, trumpeter Clark Terry assembled a 17-piece band consisting exclusively of his present and former students, ranging from 40ish trombonist Conrad Herwig to teenaged drummer Marcus Gilmore. The first disc of Live at Marihans showcases highlights by the band, drawn primarily from Terry's ...

LIVE REVIEWS

IAJE 2006: Three Legends Offer Insight Into Music

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The International Association for Jazz Education's annual conference January 11-14 offered ample opportunities to not only hear great music, but to hear the stories behind it from some true music masters.

Billy Taylor

I managed to catch interviews with Billy Taylor, Clark Terry and writer Dan Morgenstern, but missed out on a rare chance to hear Sonny Rollins because the hotel ballroom where he spoke was filled to capacity.

Dr. Taylor is “thinking about" writing an autobiography. Terry has written one, yet to be published. Morgenstern's Living with Jazz came out not long ago. All three interviews were chock full ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Clark Terry Sextet '77: Jazz in Montreux

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Clark Terry Clark Terry Sextet '77 Eagle Eye Media 2005

Produced by Norman Granz on July 14, 1977, this concert performance brought a superb group of all-stars together for a sterling session of straight-ahead fun. Clark Terry's sextet took on a challenging program of standards and interpreted each with the ease of veterans. An equitable ensemble balance was achieved, solos were passed around the stage, and each artist seemed completely at ease. Each of them proved that with big smiles all around.

Terry was in fine form, opting for the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry: Porgy & Bess

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The Gil Evans arrangements of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess have lain fallow ever since their 1958 recording by iconic trumpeter Miles Davis.

That is, until now.

Trumpeter and flugelhornist Clark Terry replaces Davis, his former protégé, as the soloist on the Chicago Jazz Orchestra's rendition of the Evans Porgy and Bess arrangements. Terry is an inspired choice by the orchestra's conductor Jeff Lindberg because Davis employed both the trumpet and flugelhorn on his version.

But the merit of revisiting an acknowledged jazz classic remains dubious.

That's because Evans and Davis completely transformed the opera into a personal statement. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry: Porgy & Bess

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For the second time in a year, a major collaboration of Miles Davis-Gil Evans from the late 1950s has been repackaged with a new dressing. This venture is not another ho-hum guest shot from a jazz dignitary sitting in with an orchestra. Clark Terry lends not only his noted name but his distinctive talents to this project, and despite the many references to his advancing age and health problems in the media, he sounds robust on this recording at the age of 84.

Arranger and conductor Jeff Lindberg points out in the liners that while the Miles Davis ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry: Porgy & Bess

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Experience and imagination are brothers-in-arms when it comes to Clark Terry and his insight into the remaking of the Gil Evans charts for Porgy and Bess. The Miles Davis recording could well have been the definitive work, but now Terry and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra breathe in some fresh air and bring in another phase to the much-hallowed music. Terry still has his chops and the ability to inject passion; age certainly has not withered those strengths. He reads with nimble ease and he has not lost his delightful sense of fun. With all those attributes intact, this venture into ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry: Porgy & Bess

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With the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, trumpeter Clark Terry interprets memorable selections from America's favorite jazz opera. These arias have long been a favorite of every influential jazz artist. Like Gil Evans and Miles Davis, conductor Jeff Lindberg and maestro Terry have come up with a winning formula. Using Evans' orchestral arrangements, they have recreated all the thrills.

At 83, Terry sounds better than ever. He's kept his full-textured tone in good shape, and continues to massage every note along the way. You can always count on him for quality.

With muted trumpet on “Summertime," Terry paints ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra: Porgy & Bess

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More than four decades ago, trumpeter Miles Davis collaborated with arranger Gil Evans to produce what many observers look upon as the definitive jazz version of George Gershwin's groundbreaking folk opera, Porgy and Bess. It takes a sturdy backbone, not to mention enormous talent, to reproduce and strive to enrich a classic, but into the breach have stepped veteran trumpeter Clark Terry and Jeff Lindberg's 25-member Chicago Jazz Orchestra to do precisely that.

All of the songs save one, Evans' “Gone," are from the Gershwin score, and all of the arrangements except “I Loves You, Porgy" were transcribed by Lindberg ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra: Porgy & Bess

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Can a remake of a classic album also be considered a classic? It's hard to say. George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, as done by Miles Davis on flugelhorn in front of Gil Evans' fabulous lighter-than-air arrangements--this was back in 1958--certainly qualifies as a major work of art, quite innovative at the time. The venerable trumpeter/flugelhornist Clark Terry, taking Davis's part in front of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra's reverent reproduction of the Evans charts, makes for a close match to the original. Compared to the '58 recording, the orchestra is beefed up a bit, most notably with a four man clarinet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clark Terry with Jeff Lindberg and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra: Porgy & Bess

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2004 appears to be the year for reevaluation of Miles Davis classics. First came g.org's A New Kind of Blue , applying a more modern bent to the iconic Kind of Blue. Now the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Jeff Lindberg, takes on the Miles Davis/Gil Evans classic Porgy & Bess , this time with Clark Terry in the trumpet seat. Tackling such a seminal album, where Miles was the featured soloist, may seem presumptuous, but the choice of Terry makes this a particularly intriguing effort, since Miles himself credited Terry as an early influence on his own ...



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