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Clark Terry: Herr Ober

C. Michael Bailey By

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On the eve of his 80thbirthday, Herr Terry gives the jazz community a birthday present.

Clark Terry has the chops of men 40 years his junior. Herr Ober finds the master with his current working quintet live on the Danube in the middle of Bavarian countryside. His saxophone chair is home to the capable Dave Glasser, who has appeared with Terry on the earlier Nagel Heyer release Uh! Oh! (NH 2003), so their rapport is evident. Together, Terry and Glasser can tease the new out of the oldest melodies and forms. I cite "On The Alamo" where the playing is bright and informed, making it quite exciting. There are the Basie pieces "Miss Thing" and Li'l Darlin'", as well as "Jumpin at the Woodside". And the blues vocals. Both Terry originals, the title cut describes the challenges of dining in a fine German Café knowing very little German to order the meal. "My Gal" is the sexy, raunchy gut-bucket not often heard out of groups like this recently. Terry pleases with his idiosyncratic brand of scat or jazz talk that is quite hilarious. Pianist Don Friedman turns in a superb solo on "Canadian Sunset" as does drummer Sylvia Cuenca. "Blue N' Boogie" is the sole Be Bop piece of the record and is performed with the panache and grit of a master playing with a soft round open bell tone. Stunning is how I would describe it.

Clark Terry is a Jazz treasure. Having outlived the majority of his peers, he stands as the icon of hard work as persistence will always pay off.

Track Listing: On The Alamo; Miss Thing; Li'l Darlin'; Herr Ober I; Taking A Change On Love; Jumpin' At The Wood Side; My Gal; Canadian Sunset; The Nearness Of You; Blue N" Boogie; Herr Ober II. (Total Time: 58:50)

Personnel: Clark Terry: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals; David Glasser: Alto Saxophone; Don Friedman: Piano; Marcus McLaurine: Bass; Sylvia Cuenca: Drums.

Title: Herr Ober | Year Released: 2001


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