Gwen Terry told me today that at 93 her husband continues “as a tribune of survival.” The trumpeter, singer and NEA Jazz Master continues to confront his mobility and vision problems at home under ‘round-the-clock care paid for in great part by fans and admirers. For details about how to help, go here. To the left, we see Mrs. Terry congratulating her husband last fall on his induction into Lincoln Center’s Neshui Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. She said today that his physical difficulties and an embouchure out of shape from a long layoff have made it impossible for him to play. Gwen reports that he is receiving visits from colleagues and admirers and that he is teaching students who come to CT world headquarters in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, from all part of The United States and Canada.
“My back hurts after I sit up for a few hours,” Clark said recently. “But I do the best that I can to get up every day for as long as I’m able, especially when friends come to visit.”
Dozens of trumpeters have advanced technique, but from his earliest days as a professional, it was apparent that there was much more to Terry than formidable chops. He saturated his music-making with his personality. Count Basie and Duke Ellington, great nurturers of individualism, cherished that quality in the young Terry. After he became a mainstay of the Tonight Show band on NBC-TV millions discovered it. Among them was John McNeil, a distinctive trumpet stylist who came to maturity in Terry’s wake. Here’s McNeil on CT:
As the BBC host Humphrey Lyttlelton predicts in the half-hour clip you’re about to watch, Terry’s association with Bob Brookmeyer in their quintet developed from their already tight friendship into a one of the most beloved modern jazz partnerships. In 1965 they were guests on the BBC-TV program called 625. The rhythm section is British—Laurie Holloway, piano; Rick Laird bass; and Alan Ganley, drums. The proceedings include a visit from Mumbles, the character CT introduced in a 1964 recording with Oscar Peterson.