Clark Terry launched his "Mumbles" routine (where he delivered semi-coherent vocals interspersed with scat) with two numbers on a studio date for Verve led by Oscar Peterson; this Mainstream LP finds him expanding the concept to album length, with mixed success. Unfortunately, the effort becomes a little too commercial, not only de-emphasizing the jazz element to focus on the vocals, but adding lackluster songs like "Big Spender." Although multi-reed player Jerome Richardson, bassists George Duvivier or Richard Davis, and drummer Grady Tate are on hand, the arrangements by Joe Cain (who also composed three forgettable originals and co-wrote "Rum and Mumbles" with the leader) don't really give the musicians a chance to shine. Although Terry has continued his now familiar routine into his eighties, it is better heard in small doses, so this long unavailable record is likely to be of more interest to the most fanatical collectors of Clark Terry's music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden