Clark Terry

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Clark Terry (1981)
Clark Terry & Great Lakes Navy Band Jazz Ensemble 2002

Clark Terry (* 14. December 1920 in St. Louis , Missouri ; † 21st February 2015 in Pine Bluff , Arkansas ) was an American jazz - trumpet , flugelhorn player , bandleader and composer. His warm tone and his ability to achieve numerous nuances of articulation with only the base of his lips (i.e. without valves) influenced Miles Davis and numerous other trumpeters. His ideas about sound led him to the flugelhorn, which he mastered masterfully and which he contributed greatly to its use in jazz music.

Live and act

Terry first played the trombone in the high school band, but quickly switched to the trumpet. During the Second World War Terry was from 1942 to 1945 as a member of a military band in the US Navy , where he developed an unusually fluid technique with the help of a clarinet school and also experimented with circular breathing. He then played briefly with Lionel Hampton and in the bands of Charlie Barnet , Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson , Charlie Ventura and George Hudson . From 1948 to 1951 he was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra . His breakthrough came with his work in Duke Ellington's orchestra from 1951 to 1959; he then toured Europe with Quincy Jones . He then found permanent employment with NBC in New York City and television, where he appeared as a soloist in the band on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show until 1972 . He also built a quintet with Bob Brookmeyer in the early 1960s .

After breaking up with the Tonight Show , Terry began his career as a studio musician and international star. He founded his two ensembles, the Clark Terry's Big Band and the quintet Clark Terry and his Jolly Giants, and has performed at festivals and concerts in clubs around the world, and has made recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra , the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra . He worked with musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald , Oscar Peterson , Dizzy Gillespie , Dinah Washington , Ben Webster , Charlie Barnet , Doc Severinsen , Ray Charles , Billy Strayhorn , Dexter Gordon , Thelonious Monk , Billie Holiday , Sarah Vaughan , Coleman Hawkins , Zoot Sims , Milt Jackson , Jon Faddis and Dianne Reeves .

Terry acted both as a band leader and as a soloist. He composed over two hundred songs, taught and wrote several books. He has been nominated and awarded three Grammy Awards, received over a dozen honorary doctorates, and a place in Kansas City's Jazz Hall of Fame . In 2010 he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award . He died on February 21, 2015 in a Pine Bluff, Arkansas hospital at the age of 94 of complications from diabetes and heart problems.

Discographic notes

  • Clark Terry ( EmArcy , 1955), with Horace Silver , Art Blakey, and Quincy Jones
  • Serenade to a Bus Seat (OJC, 1957)
  • Duke with a Difference (OJC, 1957)
  • In orbit (OJC, 1958)
  • Top and Bottom Brass (OJC, 1959)
  • Color Changes (Candid, 1960)
  • Mellow Moods (Prestige, 1961)
  • Live at the Wichita Jazz Festival (Vanguard, 1974)
  • Live at Montmartre, 1975 (Storyville, 1975)
  • Live in Chicago, Vol. 1 + 2 (Monad, 1976)
  • Intimate Stories (Challenge, 1978)


  • Clark Terry: Let's talk trumps. From legit to jazz. Phil Rizzo, Creative Jazz Composers, Bowie (Maryland) 1973, Musical Score: Studies and Etudes.
  • Clark Terry's System of Circular Breathing for Woodwind and Brass Instruments. Terry-Rizzo, Cleveland, Ohio 1976
  • Clark Terry: The Interpretation of the jazz language. Phil Rizzo, Cleveland 1977, 209 pp.
  • Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry . UC Press, 2012


  • Clark Terry. Documentation, Germany, script and direction: Peter Baumann, production: ZDF
  • Keep on Keepin 'On, documentary, Alan Hicks, 2014

Web links

Commons : Clark Terry  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Moderation by Karl Lippegaus in the WDR 4 radio broadcast Swing Easy! (9-10pm) for Cannonball Adderley and Clark Terry on September 7, 2016.
  2. Don Heckman: Clark Terry, jazz trumpeter with Ellington and 'Tonight Show,' dies at 94. In: Los Angeles Times . February 22, 2015 (accessed February 23, 2015).