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In the liner notes George T. Simon tells about the first time he saw Clark Terry perform; it was in a small St. Louis club in 1946, and Simon's original report introduced the trumpeter to Metronome Magazine readers for the very first time. That's a lot of years, and Terry has remained a favorite among jazz enthusiasts, not only for his unique trumpet and flugelhorn sound but for his vocal specialties as well. Carol Sloane's warm, round, and clear sound matches well with Terry's own widely recognized vocal delivery, and together they offer a fine tribute to two of jazz's most notable legends. It was at an Ella Fitzgerald tribute concert in 1996 that Sloane and Terry put their heads together and conceived the idea for this vocal duo album.
The tasteful, yet simple support of a piano trio to back them serves the purpose well. Other than a brief piano solo on "Stompin' at the Savoy" and again on "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," the rhythm section of bassist Marcus McLaurine, drummer Dennis Mackrell, and pianist Bill Charlap maintains a strict policy of walking the bass, sweeping the brushes, and filling in with the piano's lighter side. Both Clark Terry and Carol Sloane sing lyrics on all but the final number; Terry uses a muted trumpet for ten of the songs. His flugelhorn blends with Sloane's voice on "Stars Fell on Alabama," and Terry's open trumpet works alone in tribute to Armstrong's clear attack and phrasing for "When It's Sleepy Time Down South."
Terry's mumbles routine on "Stompin' at the Savoy," along with Sloane's articulate scatting, adds a considerable amount of fun to the session, and each singer weaves the lyrics into their wordless choruses.
I Won't Dance; Tenderly; Don't Be That Way; Can't We Be Friends; Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You?; Autumn in New York; Let's Do It; The Stars Fell on Alabama; Moonlight in Vermont; Blueberry Hill; Stompin' at the Savoy; When It's Sleepy Time Down South.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.