This week, we pay tribute and wish a very happy birthday to the great trumpeter and St. Louis native Clark Terry, who's set to turn 90 this coming Tuesday, December 14.
With a career in music that spans seven decades, Terry's accomplishments defy easy summary in a short blog post like this one. For the more on his life, please check out Terry's own website linked above and the bios here, here and here. Also, there's a bio here that includes a playlist of ten short video excerpts from an interview with Terry in which he talks about various aspects of his life.
For today's celebration, we've got some clips of Terry performing songs associated with his distinguished former colleague Duke Ellington. Terry spent most of the 1950s as part of Ellington's band, and has continued to incorporate the Duke's music into his own performances to this day.
Up top is part of a 1981 concert by Terry's Big Bad Band, the large ensemble that the trumpeter led during the 1970s and early 1980s, featuring a brisk rendition of "Take The A Train" with the leader soloing prominently,
Down below, you'll find quartet performances of "Mood Indigo" and "Satin Doll" recorded in April, 1985 at Club Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark. Terry is accompanied on these two numbers by Duke Jordan (piano), Jimmy Woode (bass), and Svend E. Norregaard (drums). Below that, Terry duets with bassist Red Mitchell on "Sophisticated Lady" in a clip from 1987.
As a bonus, the fifth video embed shows an short interview Terry did last year with St. Louis broadcaster Don Wolff while in town for a concert at Harris-Stowe State University in 2009.