On Saturday, it was announced that the inimitable Clark Terry had died at the age of 94. I’ll have some of his work cued up at the end of this post.
A good number showed this week: Wes on tenor, Steve M. and Steve H. on alto, Jack D and Todd on trumpet, Carl on trombone, Annie and Dick on vocals, Sam on bass and, in the absence of Gene, Jack K on drum. Yes, drum. Jack pulled a snare out of the closet and his brushes from the car. Given the size of the set, Wes and Steve H also did a little time-keeping while Jack played trumpet.
Sam started us out off-book with Amazing Grace. Jack K. called Misty (I-277). Wes moved us on to Blues for Alice (I-55). Steve H. was inspired by a tune from the previous week, It’s De-Lovely (III-213). Jack D. asked for the pretty Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (II-355). Todd pulled out the old standard Bye Bye Blackbird (II-73). Steve M. went with the classic I’ll Remember April (I-197), which is hard to do in the depths of a February freeze. Sam stretched us so much with Solar (I-363) that we decided to take another round on it to get more comfortable. As long as we were remembering, Jack K wanted I Remember You (II-179). Annie started off Singer Time with All of You. Carl followed with his only request of the day, Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (II-408). The great standards went back and forth between the vocalists: Easy Living (I-127) for Annie; How High the Moon (I-180) for Dick. Back to Annie, it was Easy to Love (I-128); Dick responded with Have You Met Miss Jones (I-172). Annie took another call, Dearly Beloved (I-103). Steve M. tried a tune we were unfamiliar with, Detour Ahead, which gave us a good workout. Dick went with the more familiar I Could Write A Book (I-180). Annie sang the lovely For All We Know (I-145). We rocked a bit on Dick’s request, Red Top, and went out with Annie singing I Can’t Get Started (I-184).
This week’s Participant’s Picks
Sam wanted to send me a link to Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, Samba De Uma Nota So
but he accidentally sent this link to Stan Getz and Bill Evans, But Beautiful
Steve M. suggested George Shearing performing Lullaby of Birdland:
Wes put in a request for Along Came Betty. I found this one by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, naturally.
Dick suggested Johnny Green and Edward Heyman’s Out of Nowhere. No particular arrangement, he said; it’s just a great tune. So here are a few good examples.
Frank Sinatra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcn8F-VYJDo
Django Reinhardt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0XdQWm_m4A
Lena Horne and Teddy Wilson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1-AL2cVGtE
As promised, your scribe offers a few numbers in tribute to the late Clark Terry. The most remarkable thing about him, for me, anyhow, was that you knew within two notes who was playing—fast or slow, flugelhorn or trumpet, muted or open, you could always tell it was Clark Terry. He had a sound, and a joy in performing, like no other.
Sam’s accidental link reminded me of this version of But Beautiful, a duet with Oscar Peterson:
From the same album, Slow Boat to China, just because I like it.
Trumpet Mouthpiece Blues, with Paul Gonsalves
A rollicking version of Blueport, with Gerry Mulligan at The Village Vanguard
No tribute would be complete without a version of Mumbles. I have the original version, Incoherent Blues, with Oscar Peterson, then one with a very old Woody Herman and a very Young Herd, Clark playing his later upside-down flugelhorn.