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Clark Terry
Jazz


Possessor of the happiest sound in jazz, flgelhornist Clark Terry always plays music that is exuberant, swinging, and fun. A brilliant (and very distinctive) soloist, C.T. gained fame for his "Mumbles" vocals (which started as a satire of the less intelligible ancient blues singers) and is 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 flgelhorn 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 The 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 1960s 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 1970s, '80s, and '90s, C.T. remained a major force, recording and performing in a wide variety of settings including at the head of his short-lived big band in the mid-'70s, with all-star groups for Pablo, and as a guest artist who can be expected to provide happiness in every note he plays. Scott Yanow

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