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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 flugelhorn on most selections. His double and triple-tonguing entered the musical picture for the group's blazing-fast romps, while Terry's emotional outpouring captured the focus for ballads and blues. The camera work was so complete that you can watch the trumpeter's face as he moves through occasional bursts of circular breathing in order to achieve his lyrical and technical goals. Whether forming a melodic statement with seamless phrasing or driving forward at an ultra-fast tempo, he's careful to time each breath just right. It's that attention to detail that makes CT so special. Well, that and his unique feel for good jazz.
Ronnie Scott, Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass and Milt Jackson turn in solid solo spots as well as working cohesively in ensemble. The camera gets around to each and affords great closeups. At just under an hour, the program comes recommended for its all-star quality and for that special feeling you get while watching: as if you're there in the auditorium.
Tracks: Minor Blues; Pennies from Heaven; Samba de Orfeu; God Bless the Child; Sweethearts on Parade; Donna Lee.
Personnel: Clark Terry: flugelhorn, trumpet (5); Oscar Peterson: piano; Ronnie Scott: tenor saxophone; Niels Pedersen: bass; Joe Pass: guitar; Bobby Durham: drums; Milt Jackson: vibraphone.
Program Notes: Directed by P. Weyrich and J. Bovon. Approximate running time 60 minutes.