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Clark Terry

Possessor of the happiest sound in jazz, flügelhornist Clark Terry always played music that was exuberant, swinging, and fun. A brilliant (and very distinctive) soloist, Terry gained fame for his "Mumbles" vocals (which started as a satire of the less intelligible ancient blues singers) and was also an enthusiastic educator. He gained early experience playing trumpet in the viable St. Louis jazz scene of the early '40s (where he was an inspiration for Miles Davis) and, after performing in a Navy band during World War II, he gained a strong reputation playing with the big band of Charlie Barnet (1947-1948), the orchestra and small groups of Count Basie (1948-1951), and particularly with Duke Ellington (1951-1959). Terry, a versatile swing/bop soloist who started specializing on flügelhorn in the mid-'50s, had many features with Ellington (including "Perdido"), and started leading his own record dates during that era. He visited Europe with Harold Arlen's unsuccessful Free & Easy show of 1959-1960 as part of Quincy Jones' Orchestra, and then joined the staff of NBC where he was a regular member of the Tonight Show Orchestra. He recorded regularly in the '60s, including a classic set with the Oscar Peterson Trio and several dates with the quintet he co-led with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. Throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, Terry remained a major force, recording and performing in a wide variety of settings, including as the head of his short-lived big band in the mid-'70s, with all-star groups for Pablo, and as a guest artist who provided happiness in every note he played. Terry died on February 21, 2015, at age 94, after an extended battle with diabetes. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Comments

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Being only 17 makes me wanna become a jazz player its just so calming like me i really enjoy this type of music wish i could meet alot of jazz artist's back in the day like terry
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jifeil
CT died last Saturday, Feb 21, 2015, at the grand old age of 94. Seriously ailing for the last several years, he continued to be a positive force to new jazz musicians, and never lost, even in his darkest moments of pain, the spirit of joy that one can hear in every note of his music.
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I played with Clark a couple of times in the early 1970's. He's the one who taught me circular breathing-- which I'd have to practice to do again these days! Great guy, comfortable touch with people, a pleasure to meet briefly.
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Celesteonmau i
Just saw a documentary on CT's life, it was awesome. He's still teaching in his 90's, passing on his knowledge and mentoring the next generation. The film is Keep on Keepin' On.
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St. Louis has so many talented individuals that get their start here but have to leave to be successful. Clark Terry is a rare jewel, a great fine, and a remarkable human being. Will always love his horn.
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Love jazz
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There is honey in that flugelhorn. Thick, bodacious and sweet as ...... well you guessed it. Cee Rex
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He's been one of the high lites of our Portland (PDX) Jazz Festival! Oh, and he's eighty years young!
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During the summer of 1946, Clark played Sunday afternoons at the Melody Lounge in the Olive street district of St. Louis. I heard him there, using the tune of the "Rinso White" commercial now and then to get a laugh in a solo. He kindly explained a bit about bop to a kid who had previously heard nothing but Dixieland. gparks6
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C.T. made it out to Oregon about 8 years ago. What a thrill. Anyone know how his health is?
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wtoyne
Never ever a bad performance!
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The happiest horn playing I've ever heard. Gotta love those chops* Sure brings back the memories~
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i have always loved the sound of a well-played fluglehorn, and clark terry does it better than anyone else.
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I HEARD CLARK TERRY PLAY IN AN CHURCH A FEW YEARS AGO, AND IT BLOW MY MIND. THE SOUND IN THE CHURCH BUILDING WAS OFF THE HOOK. I FELL IN LOVE WITH JAZZ ALL OVER AGAIN.
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Love his tone and exuberance. Wonder who of the current generation will step up to the plate.
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ballwacker
great.

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