Clark Terry

The Hymn

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While it didn't see release until 2001, this quintet date was recorded in 1993 at New York's Birdland, which at the time was still on 105th Street (it would soon move to 44th, near Times Square). Joining trumpet legend Clark Terry in the front line is the young alto saxophonist Jesse Davis, who is quite at home with the bop-oriented material at hand. Pianist Don Friedman, bassist Marcus McLaurine, and drummer Sylvia Cuenca complete the lineup, helping Terry do his thing, whether it's the fast swing of "The Hymn," "Rhythm Ride," and "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?"; the medium tempos of "Ow!" and "On the Trail"; or the greasy, comedic, vocal showstopper "Blues for Rebecca." Terry likes to double- and even triple-time his ballads, as he does on "My Romance" and "Mood Indigo" (on the latter, listen for his quotes of "Jersey Bounce" and "Cherokee," and also Friedman's superb solo). He also covers effortlessly for his mangling of the lyrics to "Sunny Side of the Street." And no Clark Terry album would be complete without his trademark back-and-forth improv on trumpet and flugelhorn -- sure enough, it surfaces during "On the Trail." A worthy addition to a lengthy discography.

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