MUSIC CLIP - OSCAR PETERSON, “MOONGLOW”
Welcome to Afterglow, I’m your host, Mark Chilla.
This week on the show, we’re saluting trumpeter Clark Terry in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday. Terry had one of the longest, most prolific careers in jazz, stretching over 60 years and recording some 7000 different tunes. As a result, this legendary trumpeter and flugelhorn player can be heard on a number of excellent recordings with some notable singers. Coming up, I’ll highlight some of those recordings. We’ll hear Terry alongside vocalists like Dinah Washington, Joe Williams, Ella Fitzgerald and more. Plus we’ll get a taste of Terry’s own unique singing style.
It’s Clark Terry and the Singers, coming up next on Afterglow
Segment 2 [5:00]
Dinah Washington on her 1954 EmArcy album After Hours With Miss D, with “Bye Bye Blues,” featuring a trumpet solo by Clark Terry. [:11]
Mark Chilla here on Afterglow. On this show, we’re exploring the music of trumpeter Clark Terry [who would have turned 100 years old this week] and his time working with singers. Clark Terry had one of the longest careers in jazz, stretching from his work in the orchestras of Charlie Barnett and Count Basie in the 1940s, all the way to just a few years before he passed away in 2015 at 94.
Over the course of those 60+ years, Terry became one of the most reliable trumpeters and flugelhorn players in jazz, capable of transforming his sound from bop to swing and everywhere in between. As a result, he has one of the most extensive discographies in jazz, playing on over 7000 different tunes stretched over 900 odd recording sessions. I referenced Tom Lord’s Clark Terry discography to help me track down as many recordings as I could featuring a jazz vocalist.
One of the first big name vocalists that Clark Terry recorded with was Dinah Washington. They first recorded together in the late 1940s on some live sessions, while both of them were performing with Count Basie’s Orchestra. One of the first albums they worked together on was a landmark jazz album for EmArcy records called Dinah Jams. The album was a live jam session, recorded in studio with a studio audience, featuring Washington alongside an all-star jazz lineup. Terry was part of a power trio of trumpeters, which also included Maynard Ferguson and Clifford Brown.
Most of the tracks on the album are longer than what I typically like to feature on the show. But it’s truly an all-star lineup performing, so I want to play one of the extended cuts from the album, the Oscar Hammerstein and Sigmund Romburg song “Lover Come Back To Me.,” so we can really dig into the music for a moment. On this recording, Clark Terry takes the first trumpet solo after Washington’s chorus, setting the tone for the solos that follow by the entire horn and rhythm section.
Here is Clark Terry and Dinah Washington live in studio in 1954 with “Lover Come Back To Me,” on Afterglow
Dinah Washington and the Quincy Jones Orchestra in 1956 with the Jerome Kern song “They Didn’t Believe Me.” That comes from her album The Swingin’ Miss D, featuring Clark Terry on trumpet, alongside other trumpeters Nick Travis, Bernie Glow, and Charlie Shavers. Before that, we heard a legendary sessions from the 1954 album Dinah Jams, Dinah Washington with “Lover Come Back To Me.” In order, our soloists were Clark Terry on trumpet, Harold Land on tenor saxophone, Clifford Brown on trumpet, George Morrow on bass, Herb Geller on alto saxophone, Maynard Ferguson on trumpet, Max Roach on drums, and Richie Powell on piano.
(Clifford Brown: The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter
By Nick Catalano · Oxford University Press, 2000)
After finding success as a reliable session player throughout the 1950s, Clark Terry began to be featured on a number of albums with singers. I’ll play now recordings he made with three different female jazz vocalists in the early 1960s: Ernestine Anderson, Teri Thornton, and Chris Connor.
First up, here is Ernestine Anderson with Clark Terry in 1960 with the song “All My Life,” on Afterglow.
Singer Chris Connor in 1960, featuring Clark Terry on trumpet with the Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler song “I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues.” That comes from her album A Portrait Of Chris. Before that, we heard singer Teri Thornton early in 1961 from her album Devil May Care, with the Bob Dorough title song “Devil May Care.” Clark Terry was also featured there. And starting that set, Ernestine Anderson and Clark Terry in 1960 on her album My Kinda Swing with the song “All My Life.”
Let me turn briefly now to two male singers trumpeter Clark Terry worked with in the 1960s. I’ll start with Mark Murphy on his 1960 Riverside album called Rah! (as in the cheer “Rah!”), which featured Clark Terry sitting in with the Ernie Wilkins Orchestra alongside trumpeter Blue Mitchell. This is Mark Murphy with Horace Silver’s “Doodlin’” on Afterglow.
MUSIC - MARK MURPHY, “DOODLIN’”
MUSIC - JOE WILLIAMS, “JUST A SITTIN’ AND A ROCKIN’”
Joe Williams in 1963 on his album Jump For Joy with the Billy Strayhorn song “Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’.” Before that, we heard Mark Murphy in 1961 with Horace Silver’s “Doodlin’.” Both of those tracks featured Clark Terry on trumpet.
Coming up in just a moment, we’ll hear more from Clark Terry alongside some jazz singers, stay with us.
I’m Mark Chilla, and you’re listening to Afterglow
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Welcome back to Afterglow, I’m Mark Chilla. We’ve been exploring the work of trumpeter Clark Terry alongside jazz singers this hour (in honor of Terry’s centennial this week). Although he was often featured as a leader, Clark Terry spent much of his career working in the bands of other jazz luminaries like Duke Ellington or Quincy Jones. As a result, you can hear Terry’s trumpet work on a lot of legendary albums with these bandleaders.
Let’s hear a couple of tracks now with Terry in the band. First up, here is the Duke Ellington Orchestra with singer Ella Fitzgerald on their album together in 1957. On this track, Terry joins the saxophones as part of the lush orchestration by Billy Strayhorn. This is Ella Fitzgerald with “All Too Soon,” on Afterglow.
MUSIC - ELLA FITZGERALD, “ALL TOO SOON”
MUSIC - ROSEMARY CLOONEY, “SOPHISTICATED LADY”
MUSIC - RAY CHARLES, “DEED I DO”
Ray Charles with the Quincy Jones Orchestra featuring trumpeter Clark Terry in the brass section. That was “Deed I Do,” from the 1959 album The Genius Of Ray Charles. Before that, we heard two tracks featuring Clark Terry as part of Duke Ellington’s Orchestra. That was Rosemary Clooney with “Sophisticated Lady,” part of the 1956 album Blue Rose. And Ella Fitzgerald with “All Too Soon,” part of the 1957 Duke Ellington Songbook album.
Speaking of Ella Fitzgerald, Clark Terry and Ella Fitzgerald teamed up again about a half a dozen other times over the course of their careers, sometimes with Duke Ellington and sometimes not. Let’s hear a recording featuring the two of them on the 1974 album Fine And Mellow. Here, Terry plays the flugelhorn with Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet.
This is Ella Fitzgerald with “I’m In The Mood For Love,” on Afterglow.
Ella Fitzgerald in 1974 with “I’m In The Mood For Love,” from her album Fine and Mellow. Trumpeter Clark Terry was featured there on his other instrument, the flugelhorn.
While Clark Terry was known as a jazz trumpeter and one of the best jazz flugelhorn players, he was also (on occasion) a jazz singer. So to close off this salute to Clark Terry and the singers, I thought I would play a track featuring Terry himself as the vocalist.
Now, he wasn’t the greatest singer on the planet. His style had a sort of mush-mouthed sloppiness to it, and that was part of its charm. It was showcased in the 1960s when he was performing with Doc Severinson’s Tonight Show band. In fact, his most famous vocal piece was a quasi-scat showcase of just how sloppy his singing was.
Let's hear that song now. This is Clark Terry and pianist Oscar Peterson with his song “Mumbles,” on Afterglow
MUSIC - CLARK TERRY, “MUMBLES”
Trumpeter Clark Terry with his most famous vocal performance, an original song appropriately titled “Mumbles.” That song became Terry’s calling card for many years, but that was the first performance of it, as the “plus one” on the 1964 album Oscar Peterson Trio + One.
Thanks for tuning in to this Clark Terry tribute edition of Afterglow.
Afterglow is part of the educational mission of Indiana University and produced by WFIU Public Radio in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana. The executive producer is John Bailey.
Playlists for this and other Afterglow programs are available on our website. That’s at indianapublicmedia.org/afterglow.
I’m Mark Chilla, and join me next week for our mix of Vocal Jazz and popular song from the Great American Songbook, here on Afterglow