News/Blog

Always Thinking Of You!

20140414_1

You’ve been asking about “Keep On Keepin’ On.”
I’m happy to say that it will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19th. Man!
I appreciate everyone who helped to make this dream come true!
Click here for more info.

Big Prez (my nickname for God) has smiled on me, again. If you ever want to see a blessed, bald-headed, greasy old fart, just look my way. There are no words to tell you how much I appreciate all of you for being in my corner and paying for the care that I need at home. I’m always thinking of you! None of this would have been possible without your love. Thank You!!!

And I’ve got to thank all of my friends who worked so hard to honor my love for mentoring with such a beautiful film like “Keep On Keepin’ On.” So many dear friends to thank. Many of them are my students! Click here for more info. I am very humbled, and very grateful.

On top of that, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spalding, and Justin Kauflin are going to perform right after the premiere in the same room. Like Jackie Gleason used to say, “How sweet it is!”

My dear friend, Quincy Jones organized the whole music scene. It really touched my heart that Quincy, Dianne, Herbie, Roy, Esperanza, and Justin are planning to do all of that for me. It is so beautiful, and I feel so blessed! Man, I wish I could be there!

 Josh Pesmen is one of my newest students. A real promising violinist and guitarist. I worked with him on ear training.  Both of us had our eyes closed. We had a blast! He’s going to the film premiere, too.

Josh Pesmen is one of my newest students. A real promising violinist and guitarist. I worked with him on ear training.
Both of us had our eyes closed. We had a blast! He’s going to the film premiere, too.

All of this good news about the film is very welcome, because it’s been almost four months since my last blog. Reason being, after my birthday on December 14th, I was hit with some pretty strong uppercuts and jabs health-wise. Back pain, chest congestions, Laryngitis, and some other oddities. Even had to reschedule lessons with my students.

Through all of those stormy days, I did my best to hang in there. You can’t imagine how much you’ve lifted my spirit and encouraged me to stay involved on the scene.

That’s my friend Bob Lanese with me. We were playing a game where I was pretending to finger my horn valves on his lower arm, and he had to guess the tunes. He guessed them all!

That’s my friend Bob Lanese with me. We were playing a game where I was pretending to finger my horn valves on his lower arm, and he had to guess the tunes. He guessed them all!

 Bob is a dear friend, and a great trumpet player. I was speechless when he told me that he and some beautiful friends in Hamburg had put on a fundraiser for me in January! Dozens of cats, man! They put their donations into my Clark Terry Fund at the Jazz Foundation of America. Can you imagine how that made me feel? All I could do was shake my head, and thank Big Prez for so many blessings. I was very happy that Bob came to visit me. And I asked him to tell everyone over there in Hamburg that I appreciate what they did more than they will ever know!

Gwen and I presented my Health Aides with Certificates of Appreciation. They take excellent care of me, and I thank Big Prez for them! Left to right: J’Marcus Walker, J’Mille Walker, Gwen (Holding Marilyn Turner’s Certificate), Brenetta “Bunny” King, and Camille Walker

Gwen and I presented my Health Aides with Certificates of Appreciation. They take excellent care of me, and I thank Big Prez for them!
Left to right: J’Marcus Walker, J’Mille Walker, Gwen (Holding Marilyn Turner’s Certificate), Brenetta “Bunny” King, and Camille Walker

20140414_5

Marilyn Turner was detained with car trouble, but she made it!

Thank you, again, for helping me to have such great 24-hour-care. My health aides have been lifesavers. Encouraging me and doing their best to cover all of my needs.

Even though it gets rough for me sometimes, I’ve always believed that you just can’t throw in the towel. No matter what! If there’s the slightest chance for victory, then we’ve got to aim for it. I’ve had days when health problems knocked me down. But I kept praying and trying with all my strength to get back up. I’d lie in my bed and lift my arms up and over my head a hundred times a day. Do whatever I could to move that circulation. I’ve kept on fighting back because there is no other choice.

When I realized that Old Arthur (Arthritis) was causing problems with my hands and squashing my attempts to get back into playing my horns, I did the next best thing to fight back. I kept my iPod going 24/7. There’s magic in that music! It kept my mind off my troubles, and focused on positive vibes.

Dianne Reeves called me on the phone and said she had a little time off. Said she wanted to visit me. I couldn’t wait to see her, and thank her in person for planning to sing after the film premiere at Tribeca. She came and hung out with me, and it was a gas! We shot the breeze, and then we listened to her newest CD.

My favorite tune on this CD is “Tango.” Gwen’s favorite is “Feels So Good (Lifted).” I’m so proud of Dianne, and I was happy to find out that Terri Lyne Carrington produced this CD! Two Grammy-winning ladies. I love both of them!

My favorite tune on this CD is “Tango.” Gwen’s favorite is “Feels So Good (Lifted).”
I’m so proud of Dianne, and I was happy to find out that Terri Lyne Carrington produced this CD! Two Grammy-winning ladies. I love both of them!

Before I end this blog, I’ve got to tell you how much I appreciate that swinging 93rd birthday party last December. That was one of the best parties I’ve ever had! Live music from some of my students at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. And, man, friends came from near and far. I had so many calls until I went to sleep with the phone in my hand. Partied until 4 o’clock in the morning! I hung in there the best I could in my wheelchair, on the couch, and in my bed. Wore me out! But I really had fun, and everybody said they did, too.

Everybody said that my cake was really tasty.

Everybody said that my cake was really tasty.

And that hand-blown glass trumpet was a gift from my beautiful friends, Robert and Sophia Phillipson. They came all the way from Holland to my party. We had a great time!

To each and every one of you who sent me beautiful birthday cards, gifts, emails, and posts on my site, I hope you know that you made this old man very happy. Believe me, I’ll remember that birthday forever!

I’ve also got to thank Francois Desbrosses, Dominique Brigaud, Tina Vartanian and all of my friends at Hot Club de France, Bulletin du hcf, for that great birthday write-up – “Bon Anniversaire Mr. Clark Terry!” It meant a whole lot to me! What a hip surprise. Thank you for not forgetting about me.

Gwen read this beautiful article to me, with the help of Tina’s translation (Thanks a million, Tina!). I enjoyed it vey much.  I was happy to know that my European friends were thinking about me, and still enjoying my music. I send my love to all of them!

Gwen read this beautiful article to me, with the help of Tina’s translation (Thanks a million, Tina!). I enjoyed it vey much. I was happy to know that my European friends were thinking about me, and still enjoying my music. I send my love to all of them!

Peter Zimmerman and all the cats at Allegro Magazine published a beautiful article about me in their January issue – “The Amazing Clark Terry.” I loved it! Thank you all for doing that for me. I really appreciated it a lot. Click here if you’d like to peek at it: http://www.local802afm.org/2013/12/the-amazing-clark-terry/

 

Everyone who read this article had high praises about it. Peter, man, I enjoyed working with you. You did a great job! Hats off and much love to all of My Allegro friends.

Everyone who read this article had high praises about it. Peter, man, I enjoyed working with you. You did a great job! Hats off and much love to all of My Allegro friends.

I’m dedicating this blog to my very dear friends who passed away last year. I miss them so much. They are still in our hearts, and will never be forgotten – Donald Byrd, Mike Canterino, George Duke, Herb Geller, Chico Hamilton, Yusef Lateef, Marian McPartland, Mulgrew Miller, Claude Nobs, Phil Ramone, Ed Shaughnessy, Cedar Walton, Frank Wess, and Jennie Wilkins. I will always love you!

And to all of you who are still on this side of the grass with me, I want you to know that I appreciate everything that you have done and are doing for me. I thank Big Prez for all of your kindness and encouragement every single day. I love you with all of my heart. Let’s keep praying for each other, and keep on keepin’ on!

Clark Terry

| general | 11 Comments

Thanks For Brightening My Days!

As my 93rd birthday gets closer, I want you all to know that your prayers, calls, letters, cards, emails and well wishes mean a whole lot to me! And your donations for my 24-hour home care, man, I can’t even begin to explain how very grateful I am. You’re making it possible for me to stay involved on the jazz scene. Couldn’t do it without your love. Thanks for brightening my days! Each and every one of you. You’re giving me so many, many reasons to keep on keepin’ on!

My dear friends Jimmy Owens and Maxine Gordon have spearheaded drives to help me. I appreciate what Jimmy and Maxine have done very, very much. There are no words to truly express my gratitude. So, in keeping with Duke Ellington’s vibe, “Simplicity is a most complex form,” I’ll simply say thank you and God bless you.

My dear friends at The Jazz Foundation of America paid the salaries of my heath aides for many years. I couldn’t have stayed at home without their help, because my insurance doesn’t cover health aides. I knew that JFA could only do so much for me, because there were lots of other cats out there who were getting help from JFA, and more cats are running into trouble everyday. So, I was v-e-r-y happy when my beautiful friends and fans started sending donations to the Clark Terry Fund that JFA set up for me. Man! Talking about beautiful! Now, JFA can still help me, while they keep on helping other musicians in dire need. I could write a million words of appreciation to JFA, my friends, and my fans. But, again, I’ll simply say thank you and God bless you.

Other friends, like Lois Gilbert, and Doug Ramsey have reached out to their friends and followers. To both of you, I say thank you and God bless you.

Marc Meyers and Chip Stern dedicated huge sections of their blogs. So, again, I’ll simply say thank you and God bless you.

This great blog was done my friend, Marc Meyers. Click here to check it out.

My friend Chip Stern did a beautiful blog, too. Click here to see it.

When you get to be an old fart like me, it’s a humbling experience to witness so much love! Big Prez (Clark’s nickname for God) has been good to me. I’m thankful for each day, and for all of you. If you have a few minutes to write a message in my Guestbook, please do so, and I would appreciate it greatly. I enjoy hearing Gwen read them to me. Over and over again. Your words always make me happy.

Talking about being thankful, I’m a very blessed man to have students who travel so far to come study with me. Sometimes I teach from my wheelchair, and sometimes from my bed. The students say they don’t mind, and it makes me happy to know that they’re compassionate and understanding.

The most I can sit up is around two or three hours each day, before my back starts hurting. But I do my best to share techniques with them because I love playing a part in helping dreams to come true for young musicians. Well, I guess you could say that most musicians are young compared to my age.

Everyday is school. That’s what I said to my good friend Alan Matheson. He agreed with me, since he always wants to learn more about jazz, improvisation, and swinging in general. Real nice cat and a great player. Plays trumpet and piano, and he teaches Jazz History at Vancouver Community College.

 

Alan Matheson and Clark It was a real kick to have Alan here in my home. Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Alan Matheson and Clark
It was a real kick to have Alan here in my home.
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Man! We had a beautiful time together. Alan was comping (accompanying) for me while I worked out some scat solos on “Jive At Five,” and other old favorites.

I’ve always felt that you’ve got to be able sing what you play. So, I got Alan to sing along with me, work on swinging the scat syllables, and then play that same thing on his horn. You know how much I love teaching!

We talked about the times when we did some nice shows with his big band in Vancouver a while back. And he brought me some CDs by the Bennie Moten band from back when Holy (Count Basie) joined Bennie’s band in 1929. I got a real kick out of hearing those records! Basie could play some mean stride piano back then. He even took a scat solo on one tune!

“Sweet” Willie Singleton came down from Grand Rapids to visit me, and he brought his lovely wife Carol, too. Willie used to play lead trumpet in my Big Badd Band. He was here on one of those days when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. But we had a good time anyway, shooting the breeze about some of the tours we did. Late hours, no sleep, and lots of swinging music. We had a ball talking about some of those great times.

 

“Sweet” Willie Singleton and his wife Carol with Clark It was so beautiful to hang out with Willie and Carol. Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

“Sweet” Willie Singleton and his wife Carol with Clark
It was so beautiful to hang out with Willie and Carol.
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

When Ben Seacrist came to visit me from Portland, we spent a lot of time working on improvisation and playing fast passages. I told him to be true to each note. Every note deserves to be heard. He kept at it until he surprised both of us!

Gwen drove him to a jam session in Little Rock at a little club called The After Thought. Well, Ben said he had his eyes closed while he was wailing on a solo. All of a sudden, he felt somebody’s hand near his pants pocket. A cat from the audience was stuffing a tip in there. Man! I thought that was wonderful. Incidentally, Ben is coming along beautifully. Now, he’s a freshman at The New School, making great strides.

 

Clark and Ben Seacrist I’m so proud of him! Real promising career. Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Clark and Ben Seacrist
I’m so proud of him! Real promising career.
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Hanging with Alan, Willie and Ben was a gas! It’s always beautiful to stay in touch. I really appreciate how all of you stay in touch with me. I hope to have many more days of staying in touch in with you. I send my love to you all.

For my dear friends who have gone on to glory this year – Frank Wess, Chico Hamilton, Cedar Walton, Marian McPartland, Jennie Wilkins, Ed Shaughnessy, Phil Ramone, Mulgrew Miller, George Duke, Donald Byrd and Claude Nobs – you’re still in my heart, staying in touch. Before this year is out, I plan to do a tribute to each of you in my blog. And I’ve got to include the great Nelson Mandela, too. We’ll forever love and miss you all!

Yesterday, I asked Gwen to bring my flugelhorn to me. I’ve been doing lots of arm exercises, and it’s getting easier for me to hold my instrument upright. With all of your love and encouragement, I’ve made up my mind to try playing again. It might take a little while, but who knows what the future holds.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll write another blog soon. Take care, and enjoy each day.

God bless you!
Clark

| general, happenings | 14 Comments

This Side of the Grass

I realize that it’s been a long time since you’ve peeked at my words. I haven’t forgotten you, and I hope you remember me.

Instead of writing my usual lengthy blog about what’s been going on, I’m going to do several short notes. A new one every week or so. Hope you dig them.

Friends call and ask, “How are you doing, man?” I tell them that I take all of the difficult stuff that I’m going through, and try to “positive-ize” everything. I try not to let things keep me down too long. Life’s left hooks are hard, but I get back up as soon as possible and send a round-house punch. Go for a knockout, you know. Or I keep fighting until I can make my way clear.

My dear friend Monty took some time out of his hectic schedule and came here to visit. Man, what a nice surprise! Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

My dear friend Monty Alexander and his wife, Caterina took some time out of their hectic schedule and came here to visit. Man, what a nice surprise!
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

I love to talk about boxing, you know. I was a pretty good boxer back in my day, and I really enjoyed shooting the breeze with Monty about today’s champions. He brought me a letter from Archie Moore, one of my all-time favorite champions. He had a whaling record – 127 KO’s! Archie’s letter was written on my old stationery, and I got a big kick out of it. I told Monty about the time that Archie and I were on The Tonight Show. He was hitting the speed bag, while I was playing my trumpet with boxing gloves on. What a gas! Johnny Carson loved it.

There’s a piano at the foot of my bed, and Monty played some m-e-a-n licks. I jumped in with some “Mumbles,” and right then, B (Bill Cosby) called. Gwen held the phone to my ear while B joined in singing jokes. We had a ball! I mean, we cut up a while! B and I go waaaaay, back. It was great to spend time with him and Monty. It was a spirit-lifter for the three of us.

And now, I want to share something else with you that made me very happy.

A while back, I received a request from an eighth grade student named Meghan. She wanted to interview me for her school report, which included highlights from my career. Well, my hearing “ain’t what it used to be.” So, Gwen was by my side to make sure that I heard Meghan’s questions correctly.

It was a lot of fun. But, I must say that the whole scene made me more aware of the fact that I need to do a short autobiography for young students. You know, no profanity and things like that. So, I’ve been working on a new book with Gwen. Meghan and her mom gave me permission to share that short video, which Meghan put together on her own. I’m very proud of her, and I hope you enjoy it.

To me, it’s always hip to take time for young people. Help them, you know. No matter what is going on. I felt so honored to help Megan.

Okay, that’s it for this week. Lots more to share with you later. Shoot me a line in my Guestbook if you like my shorter blog format.

And, I just want to take a few moments to thank you all for helping me to stay on this side of the grass. I couldn’t make it without you, for sure. Big Prez (my nickname for God) knows how much you all mean to me.

Some of my friends organized a contribution campaign for me, and it’s really growing. I am so grateful. If you feel inclined to join in, I would appreciate that very, very much.

I love you all!

| general | 13 Comments

What An Honor!

I appreciate the members of the jazz public who voted for me to be inducted into the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC). What an honor! And I was so glad to learn that my cronies Hamp (Lionel Hampton) and Bohania (Art Blakey) are going to be inducted, too. I don’t have all of the details yet, but I was told that the ceremony is going to be in June. When you get to be a 92-year-old fart like me, things like this definitely add some wind in your sails! And your E-flats, too. You’d better believe that I said a prayer of thanks to Big Prez (my nickname for God).

That's my wife Gwen, giving me a "congratulations" kiss.Photo Credit: Gary Paris

That’s my wife Gwen, giving me a “congratulations” kiss.
Photo Credit: Gary Paris

Man, I’m so grateful to all of my friends at JALC – Wynton Marsalis and Seton Hawkins and everyone there. I’m proud of the fantastic work that they’re doing to perpetuate our music, and for organizing Nesuhi’s Jazz Hall of Fame.

One of the first people that I had the pleasure of meeting in New York City was Nesuhi. As a matter of fact, I did some of my first recordings for his company. I enjoyed working with him. He was a highly respected man in the industry. A real good cat. So, it’s an honor to receive an award in his name.

Being honored means a lot to me, especially since I spend most of my time in bed. My back hurts after I sit up for a few hours. But I do the best that I can to get up everyday for as long as I’m able, especially when friends like Annie come to visit.

Annie took me for a ride down the street.Photo Credit: Anne Maxwell Megibow

Annie took me for a ride down the street.
Photo Credit: Anne Maxwell Megibow

She’s the daughter of my old friend, Jim Maxwell. He and I were section mates in the Tonight Show Band back in the 60’s. Great trumpet player. Really good buddy. I mentioned him and Annie in my autobiography. When she was a little girl, I told her that she was going to be a dancer one day. And that’s exactly what she did! Now she heads up the dance program at Piedmont Virginia Community College. I’m glad that she’s teaching; helping young dancers.

You know how I feel about teaching. It’s the greatest joy of my life. If I’m having a difficult day, I teach my students from my bed. They’re cool with that. And on a good day, I teach from my wheelchair. Talking about beautiful! Man, I love to spend time with eager young musicians, answering their questions and sharing some techniques.

My friend Mike Vax set things up for some students to come here from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. They wanted to learn more about improvisation. It was a gas! I ran some heavy riffs by them, and they didn’t stop until they pretty much nailed everything! They’re coming again next week.

That’s Josh Martin on the left, and Bass Deese on the right. Their teacher, Gary Meggs is in the back. Real promising students and a hip teacher!Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

That’s Josh Martin on the left, and Bass Deese on the right. Their teacher, Gary Meggs is in the back. Real promising students and a hip teacher!
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Talking about promising young folks, my granddaughter Legacy Paris was honored in Little Rock at the State Senate for her campaign against bullying last month. And the Pine Bluff City Council recognized her efforts last year. While she was visiting here from Ft. Worth, we swapped stories about the horrors of being harassed at school. I went through that scene of being bullied back when I was a boy, and I mentioned it in my book.

From left to right: Gary Paris, Senator Stephanie Flowers, Legacy Paris, Gwen Terry, and Georgette WileyWe’re all so proud of Legacy’s fight against bullying. Gwen told me that the whole room of Senators gave Legacy a standing ovation!Photo Credit: Gary Paris

From left to right: Gary Paris, Senator Stephanie Flowers, Legacy Paris, Gwen Terry, and Georgette Wiley

We’re all so proud of Legacy’s fight against bullying. Gwen told me that the whole room of Senators gave Legacy a standing ovation!
Photo Credit: Gary Paris

Too many of our young folks are struggling with that bullying crap! There ought to a law against it. It’s a terrible thing to be bullied by classmates. Some of our young folks are committing suicide because of it. Terrible, just terrible! Legacy told me that thousands of kids stay out of school everyday to avoid being bullied. My hat is off to everyone who’s working to put a stop to it, and I’m praying that Big Prez will bless all efforts with success. You can read the article about Legacy by clicking here.

I’m also praying for some peace in this world. Praying for the victims and their families from that bombing at the Boston Marathon. Praying for our injured troops, and for the families who have lost their loved ones. Praying like the lyrics of Maestro’s (Duke Ellington) tune Come Sunday, ”Lord, dear Lord above, God almighty, God of love, please look down and see my people through.”

More of our friends have gone on to glory since my last blog. My dear friend D.B. (Donald Byrd) left some beautiful music for us to enjoy. He was such a talented cat, and Phil Ramone was a great producer. I did some gigs for Phil, and played quite a few times with D.B. It was a blessing to have them in our lives.

Joel Boykin, my friend in Alabama passed away a few weeks ago, and he donated his body for research. He was a real fun dude, and a big fan of jazz. He said that he hung out at so many of Maestro’s performances, until he was asked, “Are you in my band?”

Funny stories like that make life easier, and so do friends who lend a hand when the chips are down. So, I want to thank all of you who are helping me to pay for the 24-hour care that I need. Without you, and the grace of Big Prez, I’d be forced to go to a nursing home, where I wouldn’t be able to keep teaching young musicians.

Lakecia Benjamin was in my Young Titans of Jazz Big Band. You can read her cover story article by clicking here.

Lakecia Benjamin was in my Young Titans of Jazz Big Band. You can read her cover story article by clicking here.

I’m very proud of Lakecia, and all of the young lions that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Crystal Torres is still making great strides in Beyonce’s band; Josh Shpak is still winning awards; Ryan Kisor laid down some great tracks and is blowing up a blue streak; Justin Kauflin is heading to the top in Q’s (Quincy Jones) Global Gumbo Tour. There are thousands of young musicians who have told me that my sessions with them have helped their careers. I feel so blessed.

That’s what gives me the courage to deal with waves of “Phantom Pain” where my legs were amputated. From what I understand, my brain sends pain signals to areas where it thinks that my body has a problem, like missing limbs. So my amputation sites hurt like hell sometimes. It’s weird to feel foot pains when I have no feet, but I ditched my pain pills because I didn’t want to get hooked.

The good thing is that I’ve learned to distract my brain from sending those pain signals by concentrating on something else like teaching, exercising or conversation. So, I try to keep a busy mind because it chases that pain away. Like the saying goes, “A poor mouse only has one hole.” That’s why I always look for ways to deal with problems, instead of getting bogged down.

Lots of our musicians have problems and can’t work, like me. You have helped to axe those problems by supporting the Jazz Foundation of America. Their fundraiser – The 12th Annual Great Night in Harlem – is on May 17th. Your donations have helped thousands of our musicians who were facing some financial difficulties. Eviction, hunger, health issues, homelessness, and a bunch of other horrors. Hard times can hit anybody, even you. It would be beautiful if you’d like to keep the flame of hope burning. You can make a donation to help our musicians by clicking here. I’ve nicknamed JFA, Our Angels on Earth!

I wish I could be at the Jazz at Lincoln Center ceremony when they induct me into the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, but my “crickety” old bones are telling me, “No!” I just can’t travel until I can sit up for longer than a few hours a day. I felt better about my limitations when Gwen read me a quote from Wynton regarding my award.

“Clark Terry is a phenomenal musician, a trumpeter without equal: self-taught, purely original technique. He has inspired so many trumpet players, from Miles Davis to Ryan Kisor. A master of trick trumpet techniques, playing trumpet with the left hand, playing two trumpets at once. Clark played in Count Basie’s band and Duke Ellington’s orchestra and created a unique style. He could play all the plunger mutes in an original fashion, and he was a scat singer without equal. With wit and humor, he was instrumental in keeping the music going in the down period of the 1970’s and 1980’s, forming a big band and traveling up and down the country inspiring young musicians who wanted to play during that time. He always took his time to talk, teach, and give musicians inspiration.”

That brought tears to my eyes. Thanks, Wynton. That was beautiful, man. It means a lot to be appreciated, especially at this time in my life. I hope you’ll all enjoy the ceremony, and even though I can’t be there in person, I’ll there with you in my heart.

So, to all of my beautiful friends everywhere, I hope you’re enjoying each day. Good days or bad days, as long as we have days, we are blessed. And I want you to know that I appreciate your phone calls, cards, letters, visits, and all of your posts on my website. Gwen reads everything to me, and it always lifts my spirits. Your love helps me to keep on keepin’ on! Absolutely.

That’s Gabriel Solis shooting the breeze with me. He came to visit from Illinois and we had a great time. He’s a huge jazz fan, doing a book on T (Thelonious Monk).Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

That’s Gabriel Solis shooting the breeze with me. He came to visit from Illinois and we had a great time. He’s a huge jazz fan, doing a book on T (Thelonious Monk).
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

 

I had a fantastic time with Paula Pesmen. She flew down from Denver to hang out with me, and discuss the progress of the documentary about my love for mentoring young musicians - Keep On Keepin’ On. My dear, dear friend Q (Quincy Jones) is the Executive Producer, and there’s a whole team of talented people working on it. I can’t wait until it’s ready! If you want to see the trailer, click here.

I had a fantastic time with Paula Pesmen. She flew down from Denver to hang out with me, and discuss the progress of the documentary about my love for mentoring young musicians – Keep On Keepin’ On. My dear, dear friend Q (Quincy Jones) is the Executive Producer, and there’s a whole team of talented people working on it. I can’t wait until it’s ready! If you want to see the trailer, click here.

I’d love to answer questions that weren’t discussed in my autobiography. Just post them below, or in my Guestbook, and I’ll do an audio answer for you in my next blog, like I did in my previous one.

Take care, and remember that I love you all!

Clark Terry

 (p.s. from Gwen: If you’d like to make a donation to Clark’s designated fund through JFA, please click here. We appreciate your kindness very much. Thank you for helping with Clark’s 24-hour-care expenses, so he can be at home to continue his greatest passion – teaching his students. May God bless you.)

| general | 8 Comments

Being Grateful and Enjoying Life!

I’m so thankful to Big Prez for keeping me out of the hospital! Haven’t been there since July of last year. And now, I’m able to sit up for around two hours a day. Going for three. I’ve been feeling pretty well. A few challenges here and there, but nothing serious. It could be a lot worse, you know. That’s why I make a special effort to keep a sense of humor, and continue doing what I love most of all – giving lessons to my students.

A lesson with my student, Quincy Cavers Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

A lesson with my student, Quincy Cavers
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

There’s so much that I enjoy sharing about the music. Mainly, the interpretation of the jazz language – which notes to ghost (hit lightly) and which to accent; having enough air to give respect to each note time-wise and linear-wise; how and when to slur or “flip” a note; playing in tune; how to create and incorporate solos. Things like that. One thing is for sure, if you don’t have enough air, you can’t blow the notes. I always say, “Fill up before you fluff out.”

I encourage my students to listen to the rhythm of a tap dancer. Listen to the accents. You don’t hear, “tap, tap, tap” with every step having the same emphasis. You hear, “Whap! Doo-BOP-shoo-GOW!” It’s the same with jazz phrasing. And that “doodle-tonguing,” well I could write a book about that. I did my best to write some concise techniques in my Terry Tunes book on that subject.

I’m proud of all of my students. Each and every one of them! They are the greatest joy in my life, and I love to share techniques and tidbits with them.  I’m happy to say that my student, Justin Kauflin, got signed recently for a world tour (Global Gumbo) with Quincy Jones. Q, as you know, was my first student back when he was a young teenager. Click here to check out Q’s tour artists, including Justin.

Talking about gratitude, I appreciate all my dear friends around the world. Thank you for your kind gifts, prayers, and well wishes. I’m sending a BIG thank-you to Arild Wideroe who spearheaded a drive to help out with my 24-hour care  – ten grand. When I found out he and some of our mutual friends had sent such a fantastic birthday gift to my account at JFA (Jazz Foundation of America), I was bowled over! I’m so blessed to have friends who give me the courage to keep on keepin’ on. Absolutely! Especially with me being an o-l-d fart. It really meant a lot! God bless you all.

I always enjoy hearing from my friends. The other day, Alan Matheson called and asked me how I was doing, I said, “I’m glad to be a round, since I don’t want to be a square.” You know, I learned a long time ago that laughter makes the whole scene better.  A cat named Shorty Mac taught me that on my first road gig with the Reuben and Cherry Carnival. I wrote about him in my book. A real fun cat. Thanks for that advice, Shorty Mac. I’ll never forget our friendship!

One of my old-time friends, a cat named Lennie Sogoloff, checked on me the other day. He used to run Lennie’s on the Turnpike a while back. Nice club in Massachusetts. He said, “Hey, Clark. You still have a bar bill.” I told him, “Put it on Phil Woods’ tab!” We cracked up. Then we caught up with the happenings, and reminisced about the days when I played at his club. Click here for a nice write-up about it.

I hope you’ve all been enjoying 2013, and finding things to laugh about.  I had a good report from my doctor recently, and I went to my dentist to have my teeth cleaned. I told Gwen, “That technician poked, and scraped and dug around in my mouth a while! She dug some of the mf’s out, but I think she left some in there.” So much for my New Year’s resolution to cut out the cussing. I guess you can’t hurry up and change an old fart like me. But, at least, I’m doing better.

Gwen and I just celebrated out twenty-first wedding anniversary on Valentines Day. I chose that day so I wouldn’t forget. It’s worked most of the time. She and Quincy Cavers surprised me with a gospel trio. I really enjoyed it. Nice bunch of cats, and some great music. It reminded me of my old days at Corinthian Baptist Church.

I sang along while they played. What a beautiful anniversary gift! Left to right: Joey Davis (p), Donny “DJ” Haywood (dr), and James “Dino” Smith (b) Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

I sang along while they played. What a beautiful anniversary gift!
Left to right: Joey Davis (p), Donny “DJ” Haywood (dr), and James “Dino” Smith (b)
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Back when Terri Lyne Carrington was around ten years old, I was honored to have some involvement with her career. I’ve always been so proud of her, and I’m looking forward to checking out her new CD – Money Jungle.  I’m sure it’s a gas. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of playing a bit on it. I wasn’t really “up to snuff” on the trumpet, but I did my best for her. When I did my Mumbles thing, we all had a ball! Click here for more info.

A bunch of my friends said that they didn’t catch the 2013 broadcast of my quintet at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago on New Year’s Eve back in ’89. We did that set live on WBGO and NPR back then. We had Red Holloway, Willie “The Picker” Pickens, Larry Gray and Charles Braughan swinging all night long. Man, I miss Brother Red!

When I told my friends at WBGO about you all missing the broadcast, they sent me a link where you can listen. In case you want to dig it. click here.

“Brother” Red Holloway and me, hanging out in the early 90’s. Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

“Brother” Red Holloway and me, hanging out in the early 90’s.
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Answers For Your Questions:

You know, I had a limited number of pages to cover your concerns when I wrote my autobiography. Since some of you still had questions, I promised to try to answer one on each blog from now on. This time, I chose one from my Guestbook. It was posted on 1/1/13 from Bruce J. Green. He wrote, “During the 1950’s you participated in a jam session with vocalist Dinah Washington; your fellow trumpet players on the session were Maynard Ferguson and Clifford Brown. My question is simple: What was Clifford Brown like to play with? Likewise, what was it like to play with Maynard Ferguson? “

Thanks for your question, man. I’m going to try something different  – an audio response. That’s Gwen’s voice you’ll hear along with mine, and Quincy Cavers did the engineering.  I appreciate them for helping me out with this new-fangled technology. If you all dig this audio answer idea, let me know and I’ll do it, again. Click to listen to the answer to Bruce’s question.

Until next time, I hope you’ll keep a sense of humor when facing challenges. That definitely helps me to enjoy life. That, and continuing to uplift the young folks – whether they’re musicians or whatever they doing. Here’s a photo of my next door neighbor’s son – Kyle Coleman. He came by to tell me about his football team’s victory. They won the championship game at the GoDaddy.com Bowl! Two championships in one family – Kyle’s and his father’s. Monte Coleman (Kyle’s father) is head coach of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Golden Lions football team. Monte’s team won the SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) championship, and he was Coach of the Year.

Kyle plays receiver for Arkansas State University’s Red Wolves. We had a ball shooting the breeze. Congratulations, Kyle, on your team’s championship! Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Kyle plays receiver for Arkansas State University’s Red Wolves. We had a ball shooting the breeze. Congratulations, Kyle, on your team’s championship!
Photo Credit: Gwen Terry

Take care, and remember that I love you all very much, and I thank Big Prez for you!
Clark

| general | 10 Comments