Compelling from cover to cover, this is the story of one of the most recorded and beloved jazz trumpeters of all time. With unsparing honesty and a superb eye for detail, Clark Terry, born in 1920, takes us from his impoverished childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, where jazz could be heard everywhere, to the smoke-filled small clubs and carnivals across the Jim Crow South where he got his start, and on to worldwide acclaim. Terry takes us behind the scenes of jazz history as he introduces scores of legendary greats - Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, and Dianne Reeves, among many others. Terry also reveals much about his own personal life, his experiences with racism, how he helped break the color barrier in 1960 when he joined the Tonight Show band on NBC, and why--at ninety years old - his students from around the world still call and visit him for lessons.
Clark Terry is one of the most beloved and recorded jazz trumpeters of all time, and he writes like a veteran yarn-teller— humor, real story guts, great behind the scenes. Clark takes you right into the heart and soul of the jazz scene and all its players: Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Doc Severinsen, Diane Reeves, and more.
Terry is responsible as an educator for the spread of Jazz beyond the pool halls and concert halls bringing it to high schools and conervatories across the nation. He brought young people into the fold, and created America's classical music and contribution to world culture.
Ever active, at ninety years old, Clark Terry still has students that call him from around the world for lessons. Now that's an act hard to follow.
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What other book might you compare Clark to and why?
I would compare Clark to the Miles Davis autobiography. In both you get a picture of the wonderful musical world that created these two great artists.
Which scene was your favorite?
I love the story of how Clark Terry's famous Mumbles routine was created.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This is a book that you should take in small bites because Clark Terry tells you about so much of the history of jazz when he tells us about his life. You will need to take notes as he mentions artist you never heard of that you need to listen to.
Any additional comments?
This book is the story of one of the greatest trumpeters to grace this world. He was great not only for the music he played and composed but the mentor-ship he provided so many people during his life. Clark Terry affected so many lives and this book continues that influence. Also, this is a great book to give anyone who is facing a struggle. Clark Terry's life is a lesson in "keep on keepin on." He faced barriers that would caused so many to quit but he moved on and through them and all the time maintained a kind and generous heart that blessed everyone he came in contact with.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful