Clark Terry

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Clark Terry, Кларк Терри
Jazzman, Musician, Pedagogue, teacher, Singer, WWII participant
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Clark Terry (December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015) was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, educator, and NEA Jazz Masters inductee.

He played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–1951), Duke Ellington (1951–1959) and Quincy Jones (1960). Terry's career in jazz spanned more than seventy years and he is among the most recorded of jazz musicians.

Terry was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1920. He attended Vashon High School and began his professional career in the early 1940s, playing in local clubs. He served as a bandsman in the United States Navy during World War II.

Big band era

Blending the St. Louis tone with contemporary styles, Terry's years with Basie and Ellington in the late 1940s and 1950s established his prominence. During his period with Ellington, he took part in many of the composer's suites and acquired a reputation for his wide range of styles (from swing to hard bop), technical proficiency, and good humor. Terry influenced musicians including Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, both of whom acknowledged Terry's influence during the early stages of their careers. Terry had informally taught Davis while they were still in St Louis.

After leaving Ellington, Clark's international recognition soared when he accepted an offer from the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) to become its first African-American staff musician. He appeared for ten years on The Tonight Show as a member of the Tonight Show Band, first led by Skitch Henderson and later by Doc Severinsen, where his unique "mumbling" scat singing led to a hit with "Mumbles". Terry was the first African American to become a regular in a band on a major US television network. He said later: "We had to be models, because I knew we were in a test... We couldn't have a speck on our trousers. We couldn't have a wrinkle in the clothes. We couldn't have a dirty shirt."

In the 1980s he was a featured soloist performing in front of the band. In November 1980 he was a headliner along with Anita O'Day, Lionel Hampton and Ramsey Lewis during the opening two-week ceremony performances celebrating the short-lived resurgence of the Blue Note Lounge at the Marriott O'Hare Hotel near Chicago. He was introduced to great acclaim by Chicago jazz disc-jockey Dick Buckley.

Terry continued to play with musicians such as trombonist J. J. Johnson and pianist Oscar Peterson, and led a group with valve-trombobist Bob Brookmeyer that achieved some success in the early 1960s. In February 1965 Brookmeyer and Terry appeared on BBC2's Jazz 625. In the 1970s, Terry concentrated increasingly on the flugelhorn, which he plays with a full, ringing tone. In addition to his studio work and teaching at jazz workshops, Terry toured regularly in the 1980s with small groups (including Peterson's) and performed as the leader of his Big B-A-D Band (formed about 1970). After financial difficulties forced him to break up the Big B-A-D Band, he performed with bands such as the Unifour Jazz Ensemble. His humor and command of jazz trumpet styles are apparent in his "dialogues" with himself, on different instruments or on the same instrument, muted and unmuted. He occasionally performed solos on a trumpet or flugelhorn mouthpiece.

Later career

From the 1970s through the 1990s, Terry performed at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Lincoln Center, toured with the Newport Jazz All Stars and Jazz at the Philharmonic, and was featured with Skitch Henderson's New York Pops Orchestra. In 1998, Terry recorded George Gershwin's "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody, a tribute to George Gershwin, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. In 2001, he again recorded for the Red Hot Organization with artist Amel Larrieux for the compilation album Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Ellington.

Prompted early in his career by Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark and Milt Hinton bought instruments for and gave instruction to young hopefuls, which planted the seed that became Jazz Mobile in Harlem. This venture tugged at Terry's greatest love: involving youth in the perpetuation of jazz. From 2000 onwards, he hosted Clark Terry Jazz Festivals on land and sea, held his own jazz camps, and appeared in more than fifty jazz festivals on six continents. Terry composed more than two hundred jazz songs and performed for seven U.S. Presidents.

He also has several recordings with major groups including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, hundreds of high school and college ensembles, his own duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, octets, and two big bands: Clark Terry's Big Bad Band and Clark Terry's Young Titans of Jazz. The Clark Terry Archive at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, contains instruments, tour posters, awards, original copies of over 70 big band arrangements, recordings and other memorabilia.

Terry was a resident of Bayside, Queens, and Corona, Queens, New York, later moving to Haworth, New Jersey, and then Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

A 2014 documentary Keep on Keepin' On follows Clark Terry over four years to document the mentorship between Terry and 23-year-old blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin as the young man prepares to compete in an elite, international competition.

Death and tributes

On February 13, 2015, it was announced that Terry had entered hospice care to manage his advanced diabetes. He died on February 21, 2015.

Writing in The New York Times, Peter Keepnews said Terry "was acclaimed for his impeccable musicianship, loved for his playful spirit and respected for his adaptability. Although his sound on both trumpet and the rounder-toned flugelhorn (which he helped popularize as a jazz instrument) was highly personal and easily identifiable, he managed to fit it snugly into a wide range of musical contexts."

Writing in UK's The Daily Telegraph, Martin Chilton said, "Terry was a music educator and had a deep and lasting influence on the course of jazz. Terry became a mentor to generations of jazz players, including Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and composer-arranger Quincy Jones."

Interviewing Terry in 2005, fellow jazz trumpeter Scotty Barnhart said he was "... one of the most incredibly versatile musicians to ever live ... a jazz trumpet master that played with the greatest names in the history of the music ..."

Awards and honors

Over 250 awards, medals and honors, including:

  • Inducted into the Jazz at Lincoln Center Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame (2013)
  • The 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, two Grammy certificates, three Grammy nominations
  • The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award (1991)
  • Sixteen honorary doctorates
  • Keys to several cities
  • Jazz Ambassador for U.S. State Department tours in the Middle East and Africa
  • A knighthood in Germany
  • Charles E. Lutton Man of Music Award, presented by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity in (1985). Terry was awarded honorary membership in the Fraternity by the Beta Zeta Chapter at the College of Emporia (1968). He was also made an honorary member of the Iota Phi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity (2011).
  • The French Order of Arts and Letters (2000)
  • A life-sized wax figure for the Black World History Museum in St. Louis
  • Inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame (1996)
  • NARAS Present's Merit Award (2005)
  • Trumpeter of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association (2005)


As leader

  • Clark Terry (EmArcy, 1955) – also released as Introducing Clark Terry and Swahili
  • Serenade to a Bus Seat (Riverside, 1957)
  • Out on a Limb with Clark Terry (Argo, 1957)
  • Duke with a Difference (Riverside, 1957)
  • In Orbit (Riverside, 1958) – with Thelonious Monk
  • Top and Bottom Brass (Riverside, 1959) with Don Butterfield
  • Paris, 1960 (Swing, 1960)
  • Color Changes (Candid, 1960)
  • Everything's Mellow (Moodsville, 1961)
  • Previously Unreleased Recordings (Verve, 1962 [1974]) – with Bob Brookmeyer
  • All American (Prestige, 1962)
  • Eddie Costa: Memorial Concert (Colpix, 1962) – one side of shared LP with the Coleman Hawkins Sextet
  • 3 in Jazz (RCA, 1963) – shared LP with Sonny Rollins and Gary Burton
  • More (Theme from Mondo Cain) (Cameo, 1963)
  • What Makes Sammy Swing (20th Century, 1963)
  • Tread Ye Lightly (Cameo, 1963)
  • Oscar Peterson Trio + One (Verve, 1964) – with Oscar Peterson
  • The Happy Horns of Clark Terry (Impulse!, 1964)
  • Live 1964 (Emerald, 1964)
  • Tonight (Mainstream, 1964) – with Bob Brookmeyer
  • The Power of Positive Swinging (Mainstream, 1965) – with Bob Brookmeyer
  • Mumbles (Mainstream, 1966) – also released as Angyumaluma Bongliddleany Nannyany Awhan Yi!
  • Gingerbread Men (Mainstream, 1966)
  • Spanish Rice (Impulse!, 1966) – with Chico O'Farrill
  • It's What's Happenin'' (Impulse!, 1967)
  • Music in the Garden (Jazz Heritage, 1968)
  • Clark Terry at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Polydor, 1969)
  • Live at the Wichita Jazz Festival (Vanguard, 1974)
  • Clark Terry and His Jolly Giants (Vanguard, 1975)
  • Live at the Wichita Jazz Festival (Vanguard, 1975)
  • Oscar Peterson and Clark Terry (Pablo, 1975)
  • Oscar Peterson and the Trumpet Kings – Jousts (Pablo, 1975)
  • Clark Terry's Big B-A-D Band Live at Buddy's... (Vanguard, 1976)
  • Live at the Jazz House (Pausa, 1976)
  • Wham (BASF, 1976)
  • Squeeze Me (Chiaroscuro, 1976)
  • The Globetrotter (Vanguard, 1977)
  • Out of Nowhere (Bingow, 1978)
  • Brahms Lullabye (Amplitude, 1978)
  • Funk Dumplin's (Matrix, 1978)
  • Clark After Dark (MPS, 1978)
  • Mother______! Mother______! (Pablo, 1979)
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (Pablo, 1979)
  • Live in Chicago, Vol. 1 (Monad, 1979)
  • Live in Chicago, Vol. 2 (Monad, 1979)
  • The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 (1980)
  • Memories of Duke (Pablo/OJC, 1980)
  • Yes, the Blues (Pablo/OJC, 1981)
  • Jazz at the Philharmonic - Yoyogi National Stadium, Tokyo 1983: Return to Happiness (1983)
  • To Duke and Basie (Rhino, 1986)
  • Jive at Five (Enja, 1986)
  • Metropole Orchestra (Mons, 1988)
  • Portraits (Chesky, 1988) – with Don Friedman (p), Victor Gaskin (b) Lewis Nash (d)
  • The Clark Terry Spacemen (Chiaroscuro, 1989)
  • Locksmith Blues (Concord Jazz, 1989)
  • Having Fun (Delos, 1990)
  • Live at the Village Gate (Chesky, 1990)
  • Live at the Village Gate: Second Set (Chesky, 1990)
  • What a Wonderful World: For Lou (Red Baron, 1993)
  • Shades of Blues (Challenge, 1994)
  • Remember the Time (Mons, 1994)
  • With Pee Wee Claybrook & Swing Fever (D' Note, 1995)
  • Top and Bottom Brass'[' (Chiaroscuro, 1995)
  • Reunion (D'Note, 1995)
  • Express (Reference, 1995)
  • Good Things in Life (Mons, 1996)
  • Ow (E.J.s) 1996)
  • The Alternate Blues (Analogue, 1996)
  • Ritter der Ronneburg, 1998 (Mons, 1998)
  • One on One (Chesky, 2000)
  • A Jazz Symphony (Centaur, 2000)
  • Herr Ober: Live at Birdland Neuburg (Nagel-Heyer, 2001)
  • Live on QE2 (Chiaroscuro, 2001)
  • Jazz Matinee (Hanssler, 2001)
  • The Hymn (Candid, 2001)
  • Clark Terry and His Orchestra Featuring Paul Gonsalves [1959] (Storyville, 2002)
  • Live in Concert (Image, 2002)
  • Flutin' and Fluglin (Past Perfect, 2002)
  • Friendship (Columbia, 2002)
  • Live! At Buddy's Place (Universe, 2003)
  • Live at Montmarte June 1975 (Storyville, 2003)
  • George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (A440 Music Group, 2004)
  • Live at Marian's with the Terry's Young Titans of Jazz (Chiaroscuro, 2005)

As sideman

With Gene Ammons

  • Soul Summit Vol. 2 (Prestige, 1961 [1962])
  • Late Hour Special (Prestige, 1961 [1964])
  • Velvet Soul (Prestige, 1961 [1964])

With Dave Bailey

  • One Foot in the Gutter (Epic, 1960)
  • Gettin' Into Somethin' (Epic, 1961)

With George Barnes

  • Guitars Galore (Mercury, 1961)

With Willie Bobo

  • Bobo's Beat (Roulette, 1962)

With Clifford Brown

  • Jam Session (EmArcy, 1954) – with Maynard Ferguson

With Gary Burton

  • Who is Gary Burton? (RCA, 1962)

With Charlie Byrd

  • Byrd at the Gate (Riverside, 1963)

With Tadd Dameron

  • The Magic Touch (1962)

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

  • Afro-Jaws (Riverside, 1960)
  • Trane Whistle (Prestige, 1960)

With Duke Ellington

  • Such Sweet Thunder (Columbia, 1957)
  • Ellington at Newport (Columbia, 1958)
  • The Greatest Jazz Concert in the World (1967)

With Art Farmer

  • Listen to Art Farmer and the Orchestra (Mercury, 1962)

With Ella Fitzgerald

  • Ella Abraça Jobim (Pablo, 1981)

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Gillespiana (Verve, 1960)
  • Carnegie Hall Concert (Verve, 1961)
  • The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner (Pablo, 1974) with Big Joe Turner, Roy Eldridge and Harry "Sweets" Edison
  • The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 (Pablo, 1980) – with Freddie Hubbard and Oscar Peterson

With Paul Gonsalves

  • Cookin' (Argo, 1957)

With Johnny Griffin

  • White Gardenia (Riverside, 1961)

With Dave Grusin

  • Homage to Duke (1993)

With Lionel Hampton

  • You Better Know It!!! (Impulse!, 1965)

With Chico Hamilton

  • The Further Adventures of El Chico (Impulse!, 1966)

With Jimmy Heath

  • Really Big! (Riverside, 1960)

With Milt Jackson

  • Big Bags (Riverside, 1962)
  • For Someone I Love (Riverside, 1963)
  • Ray Brown / Milt Jackson with Ray Brown (Verve, 1965)

With Elvin Jones

  • Summit Meeting (Vanguard, 1976) with James Moody, Bunky Green and Roland Prince

With Sam Jones

  • Down Home (Riverside, 1962)

With Quincy Jones

  • Big Band Bossa Nova (Mercury, 1962)

With Yusef Lateef

  • The Centaur and the Phoenix (Riverside, 1960)

With Mundell Lowe

  • Themes from Mr. Lucky, the Untouchables and Other TV Action Jazz (RCA Camden, 1960)
  • Satan in High Heels (soundtrack) (Charlie Parker, 1961)

With Junior Mance

  • The Soul of Hollywood (Jazzland, 1962)

With Gary McFarland

  • Tijuana Jazz (Impulse!, 1965)

With Charles Mingus

  • The Complete Town Hall Concert (Blue Note, 1962 [1994])

With Blue Mitchell

  • Smooth as the Wind (1961)
  • A Sure Thing (1962)

With the Modern Jazz Quartet

  • Jazz Dialogue (Atlantic, 1965)

With Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band

  • Live at the Village Vanguard (Verve, 1960)

With Mark Murphy

  • That's How I Love the Blues! (Riverside, 1962)

With Oliver Nelson

  • Oliver Nelson Plays Michelle (Impulse!, 1966)
  • Happenings with Hank Jones (Impulse!, 1966)
  • The Spirit of '67 with Pee Wee Russell (Impulse!, 1967)

With Chico O'Farrill

  • Nine Flags (Impulse!, 1966)

With Sonny Rollins

  • Brass & Trio (1958)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • New Fantasy (Verve, 1964)
  • Once a Thief and Other Themes (Verve, 1965)

With Sonny Stitt

  • The Matadors Meet the Bull (Roulette, 1965)
  • I Keep Comin' Back! (Roulette, 1966)

With Billy Taylor

  • Taylor Made Jazz (Argo, 1959)
  • Kwamina (Mercury, 1961)

With Cecil Taylor

  • New York City R&B (1961)

With Ed Thigpen

  • Out of the Storm (Verve, 1966)

With Teri Thornton

  • Devil May Care (Riverside, 1961)

With McCoy Tyner

  • Live at Newport (Impulse, 1964)

With Randy Weston

  • Uhuru Afrika (Roulette, 1960)

With Jimmy Woode

  • The Colorful Strings of Jimmy Woode (Argo, 1957)



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