Clark Terry (tp, flh), Seldon Powell (fl, ts & bs), Buddy Lucas (harmonica & ts), Al Epstein (conga & ts), Ray Bryant (paino), Gene Bertoncini (g), Major Holley (b), Dave Bailey (d), Willie Rodríguez (perc)
Reference: FSRCD 593
Bar code: 8427328605939
Coupled in CD in his STEREO versions for the first time ever !
This release contains the two albums Clark Terry recorded in 1963 for the Cameo-Parkway label. One a sextet, the other an octet.
At the height of his powers, buoyant on trumpet and flügelhorn, he adapts to both contexts with typical ease and command and without compromising his instantly recognizable style or musical personality. The equally distinctive giant of the saxophone, Ben Webster, shines with him on the sextet date, contrasting his virile tenor with Terrys joie de vivre and virtuosity. Terry gets strong and fulminating, down-home backing from the octet, including conga drums and harmonica, with everybody having a ball and Seldon Powell, on baritone, tenor, or flute, playing with great depth and conviction.
Both feature excellent rhythm sections buttressed by gifted players in pianists Roger Kellaway and Ray Bryant, and the accomplished guitarist, Gene Bertoncini, and anchored by the firm yet subtle swing of bassists Bill Crow and Major Holley. On these dates Terry and his associates deliver a great set of performances full of warmth, charm and substanceand funky, bluesy, soulful jazz.
-Tread Ye Lightly
"This is one of Clark Terry's finest records of the 1960s. Possessor of the happiest sound in jazz, the flugelhornist is particularly exuberant on "Georgia on My Mind," "Misty" and "Lilies of the Field." The colorful supporting cast includes Seldon Powell on tenor, baritone and flute, Buddy Lucas doubling on harmonica and tenor, bassist Major Holley (who sings along with some of his solos) and the mysterious "Homer Fields" on piano, who is actually Ray Bryant. Well worth searching for."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
"In an earlier review of a Clark Terry album, I wrote that "Many of the best jazz musicians are special because they have a sound or style that is totally individual. Clark Terry is one of those players that you can identify when he has played only a few notes, as the mellow sound he gets from the trumpet and flugelhorn is utterly his own"
This holds true for this new CD, which consists of two original LPs, entitled respectively More and Tread Ye Lightly. They were both recorded in mid-1963 = the first one by a sextet, the second by an octet. What I said above about Clark Terry's individuality also applies to Ben Webster, who shares the spotlight with Terry on the first LP. Both men did some of their best work with Duke Ellington's orchestra, but they were equally adept at performing in small groups like these. There is a relaxed elegance in both musicians' playing.
The original LP More advertised on the cover the fact that the title-track was the theme for the film Mondo Cane, which came out in 1961. The easy-going nature of this bossa nova seems at odds with the film's theme of a degraded world, but the sextet plays it with charm. Meditation is another bossa, with the unusual sound of the celeste as played by Roger Kellaway.
Four members of the group contribute echoing wordless vocals to Hobo Flats, suggesting the mournful sound of a distant railroad train. There is a strong feeling of the blues in Terry's keening solo and Webster's more placid improvisation. Other notable tracks include This is All I Ask, a ballad just made for Ben Webster's soulful tenor sax.; Ray Brown's groovy Gravy Waltz with some stratospheric trumpet from Clark; The Good Life with the melody feelingly stated by Terry while Webster doodles beneath; and a swinging version of Alex North's Antony and Cleopatra.
The second LP, Tread Ye Lightly (tracks 11-18) is by an octet, which gives more leeway for a variety of sounds. This is particularly true of Sweet Juke, which adds the Jew's harp and kazoo - courtesy of Buddy Lucas, who also plays harmonica on the rhythm-and-blues of Lilies of the Field. As in the previous album, many of the tracks have a bluesy feel, often emphasised by Ray Bryant's blues-drenched piano and Seldon Powell's tenor sax, which is more guttural than Ben Webster's. Seldon also adds some sweet flute to such numbers as Georgia on my Mind.
However, the undoubted star of this album is Clark Terry, who frequently seems to be talking to us through his trumpet or flugelhorn - and who also duets with himself on both instruments in turn. With crisp recording and a generous running-time of nearly 70 minutes, this is a very worthwhile compilation."
Tony Augarde -MusicWeb International