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Swahili

Clark Terry

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Album Review

With the exception of three songs cut as V-Discs in 1947, this set contains flugelhornist Clark Terry's first recordings as a leader. Joined by trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, baritonist Cecil Payne, pianist Horace Silver, Oscar Pettiford on cello, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Art Blakey, Terry performs eight obscure songs that are arranged quite expertly by Quincy Jones. Terry sounds much more influenced by Dizzy Gillespie than he would in just a couple of years, but his good-humored musical personality and control of his horn were already obvious. With Pettiford offering occasional cello solos (in addition to playing second bass) and Cleveland in top form, this is an LP long overdue to be reissued on CD.

Biography

Born: 14 December 1920 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Possessor of the happiest sound in jazz, flügelhornist Clark Terry always played music that was exuberant, swinging, and fun. A brilliant (and very distinctive) soloist, Terry gained fame for his "Mumbles" vocals (which started as a satire of the less intelligible ancient blues singers) and was 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...
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