Clark Terry, RIP
Woke up this morning to the news that the great trumpeter Clark Terry has passed away at age 94. He certainly lived a full and fulfilling life, inspiring musicians right to the very end. If you want some inspiration yourself, I urge you to see the documentary Keep on Keepin’ On. The film is both a loving biography of Terry, with quotes and appearances from some of his proteges, including Quincy Jones and Miles Davis, and it is also a story of Terry’s ongoing passion for sharing and teaching the music — in this case his mentoring relationship/friendship with a young blind jazz pianist named Justin Kauflin. I saw the movie several weeks ago with The Lovely Mrs. JC and when we got home she wanted me to play some Clark Terry on the turntable. I took out the album Duke With a Difference, Riverside 246. I hadn’t listened to it in years and what a joy it was to hear it again. Great, great record with very interesting arrangements and terrific playing. Terry was one of the last links to an era in jazz that we’ll never see again. We were fortunate to have had him for so long as a player, teacher, mentor, innovator, ambassador and giant of the jazz world.