Clark Terry

Clark Terry ( born December 14, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhorn player, bandleader and composer. His warm tone and his ability to reach numerous articulation nuances only with the lip extension ( ie without valves), influenced Miles Davis and about many other trumpeters. His ideas of sound led him to the flugelhorn, which he masterfully controlled and for its use in jazz music he contributed greatly.

Life and work

Terry played in high school band, first trombone, but quickly changed to the trumpet. During the 2nd World War Terry was from 1942 to 1945 as a member of a military band of the U.S. Navy, where he developed an unusual technique using a liquid Klarinettenschule and also experimented with circular breathing. He then played briefly with Lionel Hampton and in the bands of Charlie Barnet, Eddie " Cleanhead " Vinson, Charlie Ventura and George Hudson. From 1948 to 1951 he was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra. His breakthrough came with the work in the orchestra of Duke Ellington from 1951 to 1959; then he toured with Quincy Jones through Europe. Then he found a steady job at NBC in New York City and in television, where he performed until 1972 as a soloist in the band of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. He also built a quintet with Bob Brookmeyer in the early 1960s.

After the separation of the Tonight Show Terry's career began as a studio musician and international star. He founded both his ensemble, the Clark Terry's Big Band and Quintet Clark Terry and his Jolly Giants and entered the world at festivals, concerts in clubs and played recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra one. He worked with musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Ben Webster, Charlie Barnet, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Billy Strayhorn, Dexter Gordon, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, Milt Jackson, Jon Faddis and Dianne Reeves.

Terry worked both as a leader and as a soloist. He composed more than two hundred songs, taught and wrote several books. He was nominated three times for a Grammy Award and once with him, received several honorary doctorates and a place in Kansas City 's Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2010 he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Disco Graphical Notes

  • Serenade to a Bus Seat ( OJC, 1957)
  • Duke with a Difference ( OJC, 1957)
  • Top and Bottom Brass ( OJC, 1959)
  • Color Changes ( Candid, 1960)
  • Mellow Moods ( Prestige, 1961)
  • Live in Chicago, Vol 1 2 ( Monad, 1976)
  • Intimate Stories ( Challenge, 1978)
  • Memories of Duke ( OJC, 1980)
  • Portraits ( Chesky, 1988)
  • Having Fun ( Delos, 1990)
  • Top and Bottom Brass ( Chiaroscuro, 1995)
  • Express ( Reference, 1995)
  • One on One ( Chesky, 2000, with Geri Allen, Don Friedman, Roland Hanna, Barry Harris, Eric Lewis, Junior Mance, Marian McPartland )
  • Friendship ( Nagel - Heyer Records, 2002)
  • George Gershwin 's Porgy and Bess ( A440 Music, 2004)


  • Clark Terry: Let's talk trumpet. From legit to jazz. Phil Rizzo, Creative Jazz Composers, Bowie (Maryland), 1973 Music score: Studies & Etudes, 100 pp. ( see homepage of C. Terry )
  • Clark Terry's System of Circular Breathing for Woodwind and Brass Instruments. Terry Rizzo, Cleveland ( Ohio) 1976 8 p
  • Clark Terry: The Interpretation of the jazz language. Phil Rizzo, Cleveland 1977, 209 pp.
  • Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry. UC Press, 2012


  • Clark Terry. Documentation, Germany, written and directed by Peter Baumann, Production ZDF