"You're giving me so much love I've decided to get serious about playing my horn again. I tried to blow a few notes a while back and it sounded like the south end of a north-bound bear. After that, I decided to just keep on singing and doing Mumbles and let the horn rest. But when Gwen told me of everyone's support, I said, 'Well, if my friends are doing that for me, then I've got to give it my all. I've got to try harder to play again.'
"So, tonight, I put my horn to my lips and kept at it. And I'll do the same thing tomorrow. I can see that I've gotten really rusty because it's been a while. But you've encouraged me so much until I believe I can do it. Gwen reminded me of the time when I had to learn to walk again after my back surgery in 1991. It took six weeks, but I made it. I can't make any promises about how long it's going to take for me to play again. But with so many friends being kind enough to cover my home-care needs and with Big Prez on my side, I've made up my mind: I'm going to work hard everyday, get my chops together, and do what it takes. More than anything, I want to thank you all for not giving up on me. I'm very, very grateful that you're still in my corner. That means the world to me. I love you, and God bless you!" [Photo of Clark Terry above at the Montery Jazz Festival in 1981 by Brian McMillen]
To donate to Clark's at-home care, go here.
Here's the Clark Terry Quintet with Bob Brookmeyer on the BBC's Jazz 625...
Here's the Quincy Jones big band with Clark...
Here's Clark Terry with Phil Woods in 1959...
Talkin' tinsel on NPR. Last week I was on NPR's massively popular Morning Edition with Steve Inskeep to chat about my six holiday-CD picks for The Wall Street Journal. You can listen to the segment for free by going here (scroll down until you see my name and then click on the circular icon).
Speaking of The Wall Street Journal, today I interview Maria Kowroski, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, on her favorite song. Maria is currently performing in George Balanchine's “The Nutcracker” (go here or please pick up the paper). See three superb videos of Maria in action here.
Bill Evans radio. Saxophonist and educator Bill Kirchner will host a one-hour Jazz From the Archives show on the Bill Evans Trio, featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell. The group remained together from 1968 to 1974 and recorded extensively. Tune in on Sunday on your computer from anywhere in the world starting at 11 p.m. (EST). [Pictured above, from left: Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell]
Time for a Dusty break. Director Raymond De Felitta sent along a clip yesterday featuring Dusty Springfield singing A House Is Not a Home with the song's co-writer Burt Bacharach at the piano...
Jim Hall in Dixie. Following Jim Hall's passing last week and my appreciation, Roger Wade in the U.K. reminded me that Jim recorded with the Dukes of Dixieland in 1961, just before recording The Bridge with Sonny Rollins. Here's a track from the Dukes album, Breakin' It Up on Broadway (Columbia)...
Free Art Pepper. Laurie Pepper has made another track by her late husband, alto saxophonist Art Pepper, available for free. This time, it's Thelonious Monk's Rhythm-A-Ning, recorded live in New York in 1981. Go here.
Tessa Souter's album, Beyond the Blue, was named by London's Sunday Times as one of the 100 Best Albums of the Year. I have to agree. Brava, Tessa!
Trumpets deluxe. Mango Santamaria's arranger Marty Sheller sent along the following photo taken by Herb Snitzer in Central Park. It appeared in the last issue of Metronome magazine in 1961 and featured many of the jazz world's trumpet greats (click to enlarge). A big thanks to Peter Levin for filling in the blanks:
Speaking of The Stones. If you enjoyed my Wall Street Journal interview last week with Keith Richards, check out Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones (St. Martins), by Bill Janovitz. Go here.
CD discoveries of the week. You either love Fleetwood Mac's Rumours or you've probably never heard the album before. Warner Bros. earlier this year released one of the finest-looking and sounding tribute box sets of 2013—Rumours: Deluxe Edition. The 35th anniversary set features four CDs, a DVD and the vinyl album. CD #1 is the original album remastered, #2 features album tracks recorded on the band's 1977 world tour, #3 holds alternate takes from the recording sessions, and #4 provides the outtakes. The DVD is the Rosebud Film, a documentary made to promote the European leg of Mac's tour. There's also the vinyl LP. What makes this package even more special is the 20-page, LP-size booklet with notes, photos and details about each song. Clearly, the 12-inch-square set was crafted with love by a fan inside the record company.
Also out is Warner Bros. release of Eagles: The Studio Albums, 1972-1979—a six-CD box set featuring the red-meat output of one of the decade's most successful bands. The Eagles merger of slick production and a long-neck tunes all but ended the whole-earth, cause-driven California folk-rock movement that began in 1967. The set's remastering sounds terrific, especially on hits such as Take It Easy, Witchy Woman, One of These Nights, Hotel California, New Kid in Town and so many more. Music no one admits listening to until they're caught with it on—usually while driving.
Oddball album cover of the week.
Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops, was known for playing light, easy-going fare. He also went so far as to hire a very lightweight, small female model to pose on the piano keyboard for this album—so lightweight that when she sat on an E-flat, she didn't budge the key.