A Detroit Jazz Legend
  • Terry Pollard Terry Pollard
  • Bethlehem BCP-1015 Bethlehem BCP-1015
  • EmArcy MG 36047 EmArcy MG 36047
  • EmArcy MG 36075 EmArcy MG 36075
  • Dawn DLP-1106 Dawn DLP-1106
  • Dee Gee EP 4009 Dee Gee EP 4009

Terry Pollard

A Detroit Jazz Legend

Fresh Sound Records

Terry Pollard (p), Don Fagerquist, Thad Jones (tp), Gene Quill (as), Billy Mitchell (ts), Terry Gibbs (vib), Howard Roberts, Dick Garcia (g), Herman Wright, Bill Anthony, Alvin Jackson (b), Frank DeVito, Niels Dahlander, Jerry Segal, Frank Isola, Elvin Jones (d)

Reference: FSRCD 954

Bar code: 8427328609548

Pianist and vibraphonist Terry Pollard (1931-2009) was one of the leading jazz musicians in the thriving Detroit jazz scene of the 1940s and 50s. She was a wellknown figure in her hometown as early as 1948, but it was not until 1953 when her musical talent achieved national prominence, after Terry Gibbs—USA’s top vibraphonist—asked her to join his quartet for a country-wide tour. Both played with such authority, that Terry ended up tempering Gibbs’ usual irrepressibility with the sobriety of her piano, the sensitive eloquence that flows from her solos, and her uncanny ability to match Gibbs in the hard swinging tunes.

This CD set gathers the best of Pollard’s piano, highlighting the only album she recorded as a leader, but including too the best of her performances with the groups of Terry Gibbs and guitarist Dick Garcia. These are some memorable moments of her short career, brilliant and wonderfully pulsating, full of consistently well-conceived solos. She plays with the freshness and extended logic conception of Bud Powell, but cuts Wynton Kelly and Horace Silver in the strength of her playing, the irresistible impact of her emotion, and the deep sureness of her beat.

In 1958, just as she was emerging as an original voice, as an exciting asset to the contemporary scene, Terry Pollard retired from her full-time music career in order to raise a family. Still, she continued to play locally in Detroit, where she led a fine trio at the Hobby Bar, and performed with visiting artists.

01. Where Or When (Rodgers-Hart) 3:11
02. The More I See You (Warren-Gordon) 4:19
03. Stompin’ At the Savoy (Sampson-Goodman-Webb-Razaf) 2:12
04. Lonely Dreams (Terry Gibbs) 4:01
05. Almost Like Being in Love (Loewe-Lerner) 3:20
06. I’ll Remember April (Raye-DePaul-Johnston) 4:54
07. Laura (David Raksin) 3:56
08. Scrapple from the Apple (Charlie Parker) 5:10
09. Mean To Me (Turk-Ahlert) 3:00
10. Dicky’s Dream (Basie-Young) 7:04
11. Emaline (McHugh-Little) 3:44
12. Nutty Notes (Terry Gibbs) 5:52
13. Autumn Serenade (DeRose-Gallop) 6:02
14. Pretty Face (Terry Gibbs) 4:08
15. Then It Happens (Terry Gibbs) 4:04
16. Fedj (Terry Pollard) 3:49
17. It Could Happen To You (Burke-Van Heusen) 5:20
18. Blue Room (Rodgers-Hart) 2:52

Tracks # 1,2,5,7,8,11,13 & 16, from the 10-inch album
Terry Pollard” (Bethlehem BCP-1015)
Tracks #4,10,12 & 14, from the 12-inch album “Terry Gibbs” (EmArcy MG 36047)
Tracks #6,9 & 15, from the 12-inch album
Terry Gibbs –Mallets-A-Plenty” (EmArcy MG 36075)
Tracks # 3 & 17, from the 12-inch album
Dick Garcia –A Message from Garcia” (Dawn DLP-1106)
Track 18, from the 7-inch EP “Billy Mitchell Quintet” (Dee Gee EP 4009)

Personnel on "Terry Pollard":
Howard Roberts, guitar; Herman Wright, bass; Frank DeVito, drums; Don Fagerquist, trumpet (#5,13,16).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, January 10, 1955

Personnel on "Terry Gibbs" & "Mallets-A-Plenty":
Terry Gibbs, vibes; Herman Wright, bass; Niels Dahlander (#4, 10, 12, 14), Jerry Segal (#6, 9, 15), drums.
Recorded in New York City, Sept. 14, 1955 (#4,10,12,14), June 15, 1956 (#6,9,15)

Personnel on "A Message from Garcia":
Gene Quill, alto sax; Dick Garcia, guitar; Bill Anthony, bass; Frank Isola, drums.
Recorded in New York City, 1956

Personnel on "Billy Mitchell Quintet":
Thad Jones, trumpet; Billy Mitchell, tenor sax; Alvin Jackson, bass; Elvin Jones, drums.
Recorded in Detroit, 1953

Original recordings produced by Red Clyde, Bob Shad, Chuck Darwin & Dave Usher
Photos: Terry Pollard Foundation and FSR archives
Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol

Hi Fi / Mono · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered


"Somewhere out there in the Detroit region there are unreleased tapes of Terry Pollard. The accomplished female pianist and vibraphonist recorded only one studio album as a leader. Terry Pollard was recorded for Bethlehem in Los Angeles in January 1955. She began her recording career in the early 1950s in Billy Mitchell's Detroit quintet. Then thanks to the keen eyes and ears of vibraphonist and bandleader Terry Gibbs, she joined his band and recorded seven albums with him from 1953 to 1956. She also appeared on TV with him that year. In 1958, Pollard retired from her music career to raise a family but in the years that followed she led a trio at Detroit's Hobby Bar and performed with touring artists.

Someone must have tapes of her playing at the Hobby Bar. Hopefully label gumshoes who specialize in unearthing such unreleased gems will find recordings by Pollard, who is woefully undocumented. For now, Fresh Sound Records has just remastered in mono (24 bit) Pollard's Bethlehem leadership album as well as select recordings as a sidewoman.

Chronologically, this Fresh Sound album begins with Blue Room, which Pollard recorded with Billy Mitchell (ts), Thad Jones (tp), Pollard (p,vib), Alvin Jackson (b) and Elvin Jones (d). Then comes It Could Happen to You and Stompin' at the Savoy from Dick Garcia's A Message From Garcia,featuring Gene Quill (as), Pollard (p), Garcia (g), Bill Anthony (b) and Frank Isola (d).

The next eight tracks are from Terry Pollard on Bethlehem from January 1955, featuring Don Fagerquist (tp), Pollard (p), Howard Roberts (g), Herman Wright (b) and Frank DeVito (d). The Bethlehem cover, featured only a series of blurry lights, which I suppose allowed buyers to think Pollard was a white male, which was more marketable than an African-American woman. The back did not include a photo either.

Every track on this Fresh Sound release is a joy, and the remastering makes the album a must own. Pollard, Hazel Scott and Marian McPartland were queens of the jazz piano in the 1950s. Pollard also was vibes royalty. As for Mary Lou Williams, she was in a league of her own.

Terry Pollard died in 2009.

Marc Myers (March 14, 2018)


$12.30  (tax incl.)

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