Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry

Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry

Clark Terry

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 0520287517

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry

Clark Terry

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 0520287517

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Compelling from cover to cover, this is the story of one of the most recorded and beloved jazz trumpeters of all time. With unsparing honesty and a superb eye for detail, Clark Terry, born in 1920, takes us from his impoverished childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, where jazz could be heard everywhere, to the smoke-filled small clubs and carnivals across the Jim Crow South where he got his start, and on to worldwide acclaim. Terry takes us behind the scenes of jazz history as he introduces scores of legendary greats—Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, and Dianne Reeves, among many others. Terry also reveals much about his own personal life, his experiences with racism, how he helped break the color barrier in 1960 when he joined the Tonight Show band on NBC, and why—at ninety years old—his students from around the world still call and visit him for lessons.

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nephew), 257 Horn, Robert, 81 Horne, Lena, 71, 202 House, Danny, 209, 211 House, Dougal, 183, 211 House of Representatives Jazz Resolution, 219 houses owned by CT, 179–80, 206, 228, 245 Howard, Buddy, 245 Howard University Jazz Ensemble, 244 Hoyle, Arthur, 254 Hubbard, Freddie, 202, 231 Hudson, George, 75, 77–81, 83–94, 88–90, 94–96, 99, 108, 111, 124, 165, 214 Hultin, Randi, 242 Humphrey, Christopher, 231 Hunter, Lurlene, 186 Hunter, Stafford, 248, 251 Hut, Ethel, 27, 33–34, 54,

weather got cooler, we heated up the concert halls with live broadcasts. It was incredible! Sometimes I played with the navy big band or else with one of our combos. Our orchestra had a hell of a string section. During my solos, I occasionally used the slit hat over the bell of my trumpet. Still trying to get that mellifluous sound of the flugelhorns in Lunceford’s band. As the days passed, I played my heart out with my friends—Ernie, Jimmy, Sykes, Batch, Chops, Cam, Mines, Perk, Pillars, Casey,

care. I dug the polyrhythms of that church. Those powerful beats, the tambourines, the foot-stomping and the hand-clapping. The way they sang—multiple harmonies. Lots of spirit. We were too scared to go inside, since we had peeked through the window many times and seen the folks shouting and running and jumping and talking strange. “Speaking in tongues” is what they called it. So we sat on a nearby corner, within earshot. But the love of my life was jazz! On Friday nights, I heard it echoing off

wrote charts for Duke Ellington. Awesome music, swinging all over the room. I was wishing that some colored folks could walk in and join in on the fun. Then the spotlight landed on Bunny Briggs. Zap! He was a brown-skinned featherweight dancer. He rushed out center-stage, dressed in a white tuxedo. Then he launched into difficult syncopated steps, tapping, splitting, and hoofing on every inch of that mirror-polished floor. Lightning-fast feet—slides, skips, hops; breath-taking jumps. After

sick, but I really just wanted to join Duke’s band.” He laughed and said, “I know. Why do you think I took that raise out of your last check?” All of a sudden, I felt like a big weight had been lifted off my heart. As we laughed and reminisced, I promised myself again that, no matter what, I’d never tell another lie like that. When I was around Norman, working or just hanging out, he made me feel proud of being on his team. I loved how he lifted jazz musicians up from the norm to the upper

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