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News: Clark Terry (December 14, 1920-February 21, 2015)

posted February 24, 2015, 10:19 am by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Editorial | comment Leave a Comment


250px-Clark_Terry_in_1981The passing of legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry calls to mind a great era in history of popular music.

Terry was at the forefront of innovation and dynamic performing. He played with a number of great bandleaders including Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk.

The work with Ellington in the 1950s was remarkable. One of the incredible things about the great artists of all time is how they utilized talent.

Ellington assembled amazing talent for his recordings. A pleasure in music criticism is the chance to listen to great music.

It’s regrettable a discovery has to be made due to someone’s passing. The loss of Terry caused me to look into the album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook.

Fitzgerald’s singing of George Gershwin’s songs is one of my favorite albums. I’ve come across some excellent cuts on her singing of Harold Arlen.

Now there’s the Ellington set to cherish. A bonus is the great bands who play on these albums, In this case it’s Ellington’s band, providing the accompaniment in 1957.

The bonus of having a great musician such as Terry, Ellington or Monk is the great arrangements involved. It auguments and enhances the performances of a great singer.


A great player can contribute on wonderful instrumental works, as well. Monk’s classic LP Brilliant Corners is enhanced by Terry’s playing on “Bemsha Swing.”

It never ceases to amaze how an artist can work with so many major performers throughout a career. Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster and Charles Mingus were among those Terry worked with.

I’m grateful alone for Terry making his mark in an era where innocence marked the music listeners have enjoyed for decades. I’m honored to have the chance to help further the tradition by writing about it.

Mostly, I’m glad just to keep listening. Terry’s mark has been left, and it’s good fortune for those, who can keep experiencing it.

 

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