For the first time ever on CD, an amazing 1978 live performance in Poland by Clark Terrys Big Bad Band. As a bonus, the long unavailable LP Summit Meeting, pairing Terry with James Moody, Bunky Green, and Elvin Jones, reissued here in its entirety.
As a leader, Clark Terry recorded several albums and fronted a noted quintet featuring trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, as well as a short lived but outstanding big band, which he called the Big Bad Band. With the latter he is heard on the first of the performances here, a live concert recorded in Warsaw, Poland, on April 9, 1978. Among the best known names of the band during that gig, are trumpeter Willie Cook, who had been in the Duke Ellington orchestra, trombonist Sonny Costanzo and bassist Victor Sproles. The drummer seems to be a Polish replacement (he never recorded with Terry again).
The bonus album, Summit Meeting, recorded in 1976, marked a new collaboration between Terry and James Moody (both had recorded together many times in different contexts since 1961). Terrys recorded works with Bunky Green, on the other hand, are limited to this album, a single tune (Feeling) from Greens album Transformations also recorded in November 1976, and Terrys 1990 album Having Fun, for which Green collaborated on just one number (Dont Blame Me). Terrys recorded works with Elvin Jones are equally scarce.
01. BLUES IN MY SHOES (5:48)
02. JUST SQUEEZE ME (4:05)
03. STRAIGHT, NO CHASER (5:08)
04. BIG BAD BLUES (4:43)
05. UNA MÁS (6:48)
06. WARM HEARTED BLUES (3:32)
07. SHELL GAME (8:24)
08. TEE PEE MUSIC (8:08)
09. BLUES FOR CLARK (5:57)
10. MOODY MAGIC (6:10)
11. SUMMIT SONG (10:14)
12. JONES (9:44)
Total time: 78:44 min.
Tracks #1-7 originally issued in Poland as
"Clark Terry Big Band" (Poljazz LP 0682).
Tracks #8-12 originally issued as
"Summit Meeting" (Vanguard VSD 79390).
Personnel on tracks #1-7:
Clark Terry, Mike Vax, Greg Bobulinski, Willie Cook, Willie Singleton (tp), Sonny Costanzo, John Gordon, Dede Shirley, Chuck Connors (tb), Chris Woods, Charles Williams, Herman Bell, Bill Saxton, Charles Davis (reeds), Hilton Ruiz (p), Victor Sproles (b) and Czeslaw Bartkowski (d).
Recorded live in Warsaw, on April 9, 1978.
Personnel on tracks #8-12:
Clark Terry (tp & flhrn), James Moody (ts), Bunky Green (as), Roland Prince (g), Al Dailey (p), David Williams (b), Angel Allende (percussion) and Elvin Jones (d).
Recorded in New York, on November 18, 1976.
Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, on December 14, 1920, Clark Terry began his career in the early 1940s and achieved long-lasting fame playing in some of the best big bands in jazz history. He was with Charlie Barnet in 1947, Count Basie between 1948 and 1951, Duke Ellington from 1951 to 1959 and Quincy Jones in 1960. Terry also recorded regularly with small groups and was part of the Thelonious Monk Octet in the late sixties (he can be seen here playing Monks blues Straight, No Chaser). Active at well past 80-years old, he remains one of the last living jazz legends.
"This 1976 session led by Elvin Jones is a lot of fun, especially with the presence of Clark Terry and James Moody; rounding out the band are alto saxophonist Bunky Green, guitarist Roland Prince, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist David Matthews, and percussionist Angel Allende. Terry's matchless flügelhorn is the highlight of his original happy blues "Tee Pee Music." Green, who has devoted much of his career to being a jazz educator, contributed the challenging "Blues for Clark" and also the wild post-bop "Summit Song," the latter featuring a solo that borders on avant-garde. Duke Ellington's "Jones," a swinging blues that the maestro narrated to describe how to be cool as one listened to live jazz, is recast with a funky swagger, with Moody's smoking tenor sax and some fine call and response between the horns and the bass, though Terry steals the show by alternating back and forth between flügelhorn and muted trumpet."
Ken Dryden -All Music Guide