Clark Terry

Last updated

Clark Terry
Clark Terry in 1981.jpg
Terry at the 1981 Monterey Jazz Festival
Background information
Birth nameClark Virgil Terry Jr.
Born(1920-12-14)December 14, 1920
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedFebruary 21, 2015(2015-02-21) (aged 94)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • composer
Instruments
Years active1940s–2015
Labels
Associated acts
Website clarkterry.com

Clark Virgil Terry Jr. [1] (December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015) was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, and a composer and educator.

Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of popular jazz music developed in the United States that dominated in the 1930s and 1940s. The name swing came from the 'swing feel' where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the swing era. The verb "to swing" is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong groove or drive. Notable musicians of the swing era include Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Larry Clinton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, Louis Jordan, and Cab Calloway.

Bebop style of jazz

Bebop or bop is a style of jazz developed in the early to mid-1940s in the United States, which features songs characterized by a fast tempo, complex chord progressions with rapid chord changes and numerous changes of key, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure, the use of scales and occasional references to the melody.

Flugelhorn Brass musical instrument

The flugelhorn is a brass instrument that is usually pitched in B but occasionally found in C. It resembles a trumpet, and the tube has the same length but a wider, conical bore. A type of valved bugle, the flugelhorn was developed in Germany from a traditional English valveless bugle, with the first version sold by Heinrich Stölzel in Berlin in 1828. The valved bugle provided Adolphe Sax with the inspiration for his B soprano (contralto) saxhorns, on which the modern-day flugelhorn is modeled.

Contents

He played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–51), [2] Duke Ellington (1951–59), [2] Quincy Jones (1960), and Oscar Peterson (1964-96). He was with The Tonight Show Band from 1962 to 1972. His career in jazz spanned more than 70 years, during which he became one of the most recorded jazz musicians, appearing on over 900 recordings. Terry also mentored Quincy Jones, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Dianne Reeves, and Terri Lyne Carrington. [3]

Charlie Barnet American saxophonist, composer, bandleader

Charles Daly Barnet was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader.

Count Basie American jazz musician, bandleader, and composer

William James "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing, Helen Humes, Thelma Carpenter, and Joe Williams.

Duke Ellington American jazz musician, composer and band leader

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than fifty years.

Early life

Terry was born to Clark Virgil Terry Sr. and Mary Terry in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 14, 1920. [1] [2] He attended Vashon High School and began his professional career in the early 1940s, playing in local clubs. He served as a bandsman in the United States Navy during World War II. His first instrument was valve trombone. [4]

St. Louis independent city in Missouri, United States

St. Louis is a major independent city and inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois. The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city, forming the fourth-longest river system in the world. The city had an estimated 2018 population of 302,838 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, which is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, and the 20th-largest in the United States.

Vashon High School

Vashon High School is a public high school located in St. Louis, Missouri that is part of the St. Louis Public Schools. When it opened in 1927, it was the second high school for black students in St. Louis. Since 1934, the school has won 14 state basketball championships – six as a member of the Missouri Negro Interscholastic Athletic Association and then eight as a member of the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of US Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2019, making it the third-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force and the United States Army.

Terry at the 1981 Monterey Jazz Festival Clark Terry MJF.jpg
Terry at the 1981 Monterey Jazz Festival

Big band era

Blending the St. Louis tone with contemporary styles, Terry's years with Basie and Ellington in the late 1940s and 1950s established his prominence. During his period with Ellington, he took part in many of the composer's suites and acquired a reputation for his wide range of styles (from swing to hard bop), technical proficiency, and good humor. Terry influenced musicians including Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, both of whom acknowledged Terry's influence during the early stages of their careers. Terry had informally taught Davis while they were still in St Louis, [5] and Jones during Terry's frequent visits to Seattle with the Count Basie Sextet. [6]

Hard bop is a subgenre of jazz that is an extension of bebop music. Journalists and record companies began using the term in the mid-1950s to describe a new current within jazz that incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone and piano playing.

Miles Davis American jazz musician

Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.

Quincy Jones American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, television producer, and trumpeter

Quincy Delight Jones Jr. is an American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and film and television producer. His career spans over 60 years in the entertainment industry with a record 80 Grammy Award nominations, 28 Grammys, and a Grammy Legend Award in 1992.

After leaving Ellington in 1959, Clark's international recognition soared when he accepted an offer from the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) to become a staff musician. He appeared for ten years on The Tonight Show as a member of the Tonight Show Band until 1972, first led by Skitch Henderson and later by Doc Severinsen, where his unique "mumbling" scat singing led to a hit with "Mumbles". [7] Terry was the first African American to become a regular in a band on a major US television network. He said later: "We had to be models, because I knew we were in a test.... We couldn't have a speck on our trousers. We couldn't have a wrinkle in the clothes. We couldn't have a dirty shirt." [8]

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

<i>The Tonight Show</i> American late-night talk show

The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show currently broadcast from the NBC Studios in Rockefeller Center in New York City, the show's original location and airing on NBC since 1954. The series has been hosted by six comedians: Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and Jimmy Fallon, and had several recurring guest hosts including Ernie Kovacs during the Steve Allen era and Joan Rivers, Garry Shandling and Jay Leno during Johnny Carson's stewardship, although the practice has been abandoned since Carson's departure, with hosts preferring reruns to showcasing potential rivals. The Tonight Show is the world's longest-running talk show, and the longest-running, regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States. It is the third-longest-running show on NBC, after the news-and-talk shows Today and Meet the Press.

The Tonight Show Band is the house band that plays on the American television variety show The Tonight Show. From 1962 until 1992, when the show was known as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, the band was a 17-piece big band, and was an important showcase for jazz on American television. During the Carson era, the band was always billed as "The NBC Orchestra" and sometimes "Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra".

Terry continued to play with musicians such as trombonist J. J. Johnson and pianist Oscar Peterson, [9] and led a group with valve-trombonist Bob Brookmeyer that achieved some success in the early 1960s. In February 1965, Brookmeyer and Terry appeared on BBC2's Jazz 625 . [10] and in 1967, presented by Norman Granz, he was recorded at Poplar Town Hall, in the BBC series Jazz at the Philharmonic, alongside James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson, Bob Cranshaw, Louie Bellson and T-Bone Walker. [11]

J. J. Johnson American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger

James Louis Johnson was an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger.

Oscar Peterson Canadian jazz pianist, band leader, composer

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, but simply "O.P." by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours. He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists, and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years.

Bob Brookmeyer American jazz valve trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer

Robert Edward "Bob" Brookmeyer was an American jazz valve trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Brookmeyer first gained widespread public attention as a member of Gerry Mulligan's quartet from 1954 to 1957. He later worked with Jimmy Giuffre, before rejoining Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. He garnered 8 Grammy Award nominations during his lifetime.

In the 1970s, Terry concentrated increasingly on the flugelhorn, which he played with a full, ringing tone. In addition to his studio work and teaching at jazz workshops, Terry toured regularly in the 1980s with small groups (including Peterson's) and performed as the leader of his Big B-A-D Band (formed about 1970). After financial difficulties forced him to break up the Big B-A-D Band, he performed with bands such as the Unifour Jazz Ensemble. His humor and command of jazz trumpet styles are apparent in his "dialogues" with himself, on different instruments or on the same instrument, muted and unmuted.

Later career

Terry in New York City, 1976 Clark Mumbles Terry.jpg
Terry in New York City, 1976

From the 1970s through the 1990s, Terry performed at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Lincoln Center, toured with the Newport Jazz All Stars and Jazz at the Philharmonic, and was featured with Skitch Henderson's New York Pops Orchestra. In 1998, Terry recorded George Gershwin's "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody , a tribute to George Gershwin, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.

In November 1980, he was a headliner along with Anita O'Day, Lionel Hampton and Ramsey Lewis during the opening two-week ceremony performances celebrating the short-lived resurgence of the Blue Note Lounge at the Marriott O'Hare Hotel near Chicago.

Prompted early in his career by Billy Taylor, Clark and Milt Hinton bought instruments for and gave instruction to young hopefuls, which planted the seed that became Jazz Mobile in Harlem. This venture tugged at Terry's greatest love: involving youth in the perpetuation of jazz. From 2000 onwards, he hosted Clark Terry Jazz Festivals on land and sea, held his own jazz camps, and appeared in more than fifty jazz festivals on six continents. Terry composed more than two hundred jazz songs and performed for eight U.S. Presidents. [12]

He also had several recordings with major groups including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, hundreds of high school and college ensembles, his own duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, octets, and two big bands: Clark Terry's Big Bad Band and Clark Terry's Young Titans of Jazz.

In February 2004, Terry guest starred as himself, on Little Bill , a children's television series. Terry was a resident of Bayside, Queens, and Corona, Queens, New York, later moving to Haworth, New Jersey, and then Pine Bluff, Arkansas. [13] [14]

His autobiography was published in 2011. [3] Taylor Ho Bynum wrote in The New Yorker that it "captures his gift for storytelling and his wry humor, especially in chronicling his early years on the road, with struggles through segregation and gigs in juke joints and carnivals, all while developing one of most distinctive improvisational voices in music history." [15]

According to his own website Terry was "one of the most recorded jazz artists in history and had performed for eight American Presidents." [16]

In April 2014, the documentary Keep on Keepin' On, followed Terry over four years, to document his mentorship of the 23-year-old blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin, as the Kauflin prepared to compete in an elite, international competition. [17]

In December 2014 the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Cécile McLorin Salvant visited Terry, who had celebrated his 94th birthday on December 14, at the Jefferson Regional Medical Center. A lively rendition of "Happy Birthday" was played. [18]

Death and tributes

Terry performing at the White House with singer Nnenna Freelon in 2006 Nnenna Freelon, Clark Terry.jpg
Terry performing at the White House with singer Nnenna Freelon in 2006

On February 13, 2015, it was announced that Terry had entered hospice care to manage his advanced diabetes. [19] He died on February 21, 2015. [20] [21]

Writing in The New York Times , Peter Keepnews said Terry "was acclaimed for his impeccable musicianship, loved for his playful spirit and respected for his adaptability. Although his sound on both trumpet and the rounder-toned flugelhorn (which he helped popularize as a jazz instrument) was highly personal and easily identifiable, he managed to fit it snugly into a wide range of musical contexts." [22]

Writing in UK's The Daily Telegraph , Martin Chilton said: "Terry was a music educator and had a deep and lasting influence on the course of jazz. Terry became a mentor to generations of jazz players, including Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and composer-arranger Quincy Jones." [8]

Interviewing Terry in 2005, fellow jazz trumpeter Scotty Barnhart said he was "... one of the most incredibly versatile musicians to ever live ... a jazz trumpet master that played with the greatest names in the history of the music ..." [23]

Southeast Missouri State University hosts the Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival, an annual tribute to the musician. The festival began in 1998, and has grown in size every year. The festival showcases outstanding student musicians and guest artists at the university's River Campus. [24] [25]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Clark Terry among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [26]

Awards and honors

Terry performing with the Great Lakes Navy Band Jazz Ensemble Clark Terry.jpg
Terry performing with the Great Lakes Navy Band Jazz Ensemble

Over 250 awards, medals and honors, including:

Discography

As leader

As sideman

With Gene Ammons

With Dave Bailey

With Ray Bryant

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

With Duke Ellington

With Stan Getz

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Johnny Griffin

With Johnny Hodges

With Milt Jackson

With J. J. Johnson

With Quincy Jones

With Mundell Lowe

With Herbie Mann

With Gary McFarland

With Charles Mingus

With Blue Mitchell

With Gerry Mulligan

With Oliver Nelson

With Oscar Peterson

With Dave Pike

With Lalo Schifrin

With Sonny Stitt

With Billy Taylor

With Cal Tjader

With others

See also

Bibliography

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 Yanow, Scott Clark Terry biography at Allmusic.
  3. 1 2 Terry, C. Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry, University of California Press (2011).
  4. Stephen Graham. "Clark Terry has died". Marlbank. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  5. "Trumpeter Clark Terry Shares Jazz Memories". Npr.org. January 1, 2005. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  6. Jones, Quincy (1993). "Newport 1958". In Tucker, Mark (ed.). The Duke Ellington Reader. Oxford University Press. pp. 311–312. ISBN   0-19-509391-7.
  7. Adam Bernstein (February 22, 2015). "Clark Terry, jazz virtuoso with Basie, Ellington and 'Tonight Show,' dies". Washington Post. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  8. 1 2 Martin Chilton (February 22, 2015). "Clark Terry, jazz trumpeter, dies aged 94". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  9. Oscar Peterson and Clark Terry at AllMusic
  10. "Tribute to Bob Brookmeyer". Clarkterry.com. December 19, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  11. "Jazz at the Philharmonic - Library of Congress". Loc.gov. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  12. "Clark Terry: NVLP: African American History". Visionaryproject.org. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  13. Berman, Eleanor, "The jazz of Queens encompasses music royalty", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , January 1, 2006. Accessed October 1, 2009. "When the trolley tour proceeds, Mr. Knight points out the nearby Dorie Miller Houses, a co-op apartment complex in Corona where Clark Terry and Cannonball and Nat Adderley lived and where saxophonist Jimmy Heath still resides."
  14. Potter, Beth. "Haworth's Notable Characters", Haworth, New Jersey. Accessed June 22, 2010.
  15. Taylor Ho Bynum, "The Sound of Musical Joy: Clark Terry's Trumpet", The New Yorker, February 24, 2015.
  16. Neela Debnath (February 22, 2015). "Clark Terry dead: Grammy-winning trumpet player dies aged 94". The Independent . Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  17. A. O. Scott (October 2, 2014). "A Rare Musical Mentorship, Captured With Heart and Soul". nytimes.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  18. "Happy 94th Birthday CLARK TERRY!". YouTube. December 14, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  19. Marc Schneider (February 13, 2015). "Jazz Great Clark Terry Enters Hospice Care". Billboard. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  20. Marc Schneider (February 21, 2015). "Jazz Musician Clark Terry Dies at 94". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  21. Daniel Kreps (February 22, 2015). "Jazz Great Clark Terry Dead at 94". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
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  23. Barnhart, Scotty (2005). The World of Jazz Trumpet: A Comprehensive History & Practical Philosophy. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN   978-0634095276. Chapter 3: Clark Terry, pp. 91-96.
  24. "history - Southeast Missouri State University". Semo.edu. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  25. "Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival - Southeast Missouri State University". Semo.edu. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  26. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  27. Jazz at Lincoln Center's Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. "Art Blakey, Lionel Hampton, and Clark Terry inducted into Jazz at Lincoln Center's Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame". Jalc.org/. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
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  34. Barnhart, Scotty (January 1, 2005). The World of Jazz Trumpet: A Comprehensive History & Practical Philosophy. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN   9780634095276.
  35. Michael Juk (April 23, 2012). "Clark Terry's jazz trumpeter heart touches Vancouverites". CBC Music. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  36. "AT THE MOVIES". The New York Times. March 10, 2000. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  37. St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". Stlouiswalkoffame.org. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2013.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  38. "Arkansas Artists - Arkansas Entertainers - Famous Arkansans". Arkansas.com. Retrieved April 27, 2017.