Recorded February 24, 1994 in East Berlin, this session, before a large audience in an auditorium, brings together three melody makers with no chording instrument or drum set. David Friesen provides a walking bass pattern, while the trio creates obvious harmony as they work together. But this unusual instrumentation provides a setting that is far removed from soloing in front of the Count Basie, Duke Ellington, or Stan Kenton orchestra.
These are favorite songs, too. Clark Terry and Bud Shank trade fours, each of the three artists adds intricate solo sections, and together they wear the familiar melodies on their shirtsleeves. Through "Squeeze Me," CT trades fours between flugelhorn and muted trumpet, getting closer and closer together until the fours become a note by note alternating right and left hand duet. Always the entertainer, Terry then sings the song in English with some scat singing included. On "I Hear a Rhapsody," he and Shank produce counterpoint with highly independent ideas that merge together seamlessly. The trio’s high point comes when they express enthusiastically, as on the ten-minute "Payin’ Them Berlin Dues Blues." The 12-bar blues format supplies a magic formula to alter the performance’s mood from one of recital hall perfection to down-and-dirty, good-natured fun. Terry sings a story that leads to his humorous mumbles routine. Shank answers through his instrument, and the trio keeps it loose. The piece ends with trumpeter and saxophonist making music through only their mouthpieces. What an original team!
Personnel: David Friesen- double bass; Bud Shank- alto saxophone; Clark Terry- trumpet, add flugelhorn and vocal on "Squeeze Me," add vocal and mumbles on "Payin