R.I.P. Legendary Trumpeter Clark Terry

Clark Terry

Clark Terry – Trumpet (December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015)

Legendary Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry passed away on Saturday February 21st, for many, many years I knew the name Clark Terry, but I never listened to this amazing musician, until started this blog, like have with many artists,the first time I  explored his music was on his birthday December 14th . From his obituary at the  New York Times,

Clark Terry, one of the most popular and influential jazz trumpeters of his generation and an enthusiastic advocate of jazz education, died on Saturday in Pine Bluff, Ark. He was 94.

His death was announced by his wife, Gwen.

Mr. 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 fluegelhorn (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.

He was one of the few musicians to have worked with the orchestras of both Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He was for many years a constant presence in New York’s recording studios — accompanying singers, sitting in big-band trumpet sections, providing music for radio and television commercials. He recorded with Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and other leading jazz artists as well as his own groups. Continue Reading

Near the bottom of the obituary I read the following:

….And Mr. Terry, who in recent years had been living in Pine Bluff, continued to be a mentor to young musicians after his performing days were over. An acclaimed 2014 documentary, “Keep On Keepin’ On,” directed by Alan Hicks, told the story of his relationship with a promising young pianist, Justin Kauflin, whom Mr. Terry first taught at William Paterson, and with whom he continued to work even after being hospitalized……

I recently discovered the music of Justin Kauflin and have watched his album Dedication climb to the top of the JAzzWeek chart! I have also listened to and enjoyed the album. I had planned on writing about the album shortly, but I just checked and Amazon Instant Videos has Keep On Keepin’ On so maybe I’ll watch the film first and report on both,

The jazz world as well as, the world in general surely lost a “one of a kind” musician and person with the passing of Clark Terry, but his great playing and mentoring will live on. Through both, his music and his mentoring, he made the world a better place!

The Clark Terry Sextet performing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” in 2000, back when Clark Terry was an energetic 80 year-old!