Clark Terry / Max Roach

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Friendship Review

by Matt Collar

When you get to the point in your career that drummer Max Roach and trumpeter Clark Terry are, it's not so much what you say, but how you say it. These jazz giants may not be at the top of their game technically, but artistically no Young Lion can touch them. Starting with the leadoff track on Friendship, it's clear that all bets are off. "Statements" is a drum and trumpet duet loosely based around a blues theme, with Terry playing off various rhythms and drum head detunings from Roach. It's easily one of the most avant-garde things these guys have played in a while, and possibly the most surprising thing you'll hear on a straight-ahead jazz recording from 2002. Elsewhere, Terry takes a burnished and juicy stroll through "When I Fall in Love," Roach gets some solo time on the furious "Lil Max," and both of them turn "Makin' Whoopee" into a bittersweet daydream. Backed sensitively by pianist Don Friedman and bassist Marcus McLaurine, Roach and Terry make Friendship a pure joy.

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