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STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Clark Terry and His Famous Friends

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This week, we're taking a break from previewing upcoming concerts in St. Louis to spend a little time with legendary trumpeter and St. Louis native Clark Terry. As mentioned here last week, Terry is up for election this year to Jazz at Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, and for the first time ever, fans are being allowed to vote online for their favorites.

If elected, Terry, who's now 92, would be only the third musician (along with Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman) to be honored with induction while still living, and given his iconic status and lifelong contributions to the music, he's certainly more than deserving. And so with a little more than a week to go before voting ends on Sunday, March 31, it seemed like a good idea to share a few video clips as a reminder of some of what Terry has done, a few of the musical greats he's done it with, and some of the places he's visited over the course of his storied career.

The first clip up above was recorded in 1960 in Belgium, and shows Terry as the featured soloist with the Quincy Jones Big Band in an arrangement of pianist Bobby Timmons' hard-bop standard “Moanin." Though this was a few years before Jones' career as a multi-platinum-selling pop producer began to gather momentum, the two men have continued their friendship and musical association to the present day, as you'll see in another of today's selections below.

The second video down below shows another side of Terry, as he puts some stank on a version of “Stormy Monday" with another American musical icon, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. It was recorded in July, 1977 in Nice, France, with Muddy's band, which included Bob Margolin (guitar), Guitar Junior (guitar), Pinetop Perkins (piano), Calvin Jones (bass), and Willy “Big Eyes" Smith (drums).

Below that, it's a another standard of a very different nature as Terry takes on the venerable ballad “Stardust." This performance was recorded in 1964 in London, and features the great pianist Teddy Wilson, who made jazz history as a member of Benny Goodman's band, along with bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Louie Bellson.

The following clip is another all-star affair, as Terry leads a group playing “Samba de Orfeu" at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival that includes Ronnie Scott (tenor sax), Joe Pass (guitar), Oscar Peterson (piano), Milt Jackson (vibes), Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass), and Bobby Durham (drums).

The fifth video features a choice cameo appearance by Terry, as he offers single choruses of flugelhorn and vocals on a version of Quincy Jones' “Soul Bossa Nova" recorded for Late Night with David Letterman with Jones' orchestra and saxophonist Phil Woods, who takes the solo before Terry's.

To close things out, we've got a half-hour's worth of a quintet co-led by Terry and another longtime collaborator, the late valve trombonist and composer Bob Brookmeyer, that was recorded in 1965 in London for the BBC program Jazz 625.

If you haven't voted in the Jazz Hall of Fame election yet, you can cast your ballot for Clark Terry (and up to three more of this year's potential inductees) any time between now and next Sunday at http://jalc.org/2013-jazz-hall-of-fame-vote.










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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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