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Clark Terry
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    (December 14, 1920-February 21, 2015)
    Born in St. Louis, Missouri
    Played trumpet and flugelhorn
    Played in the bands of Count Basie (1948-51), Duke Ellington (1951-59) and Quincy Jones (1959-60)
    Member of the 'Tonight Show' band (1960-72)
    Recorded the albums 'Introducing Clark Terry' (1955), 'Out on a Limb with Clark Terry' (1957), 'In Orbit' (with Thelonious Monk, 1958), 'Top and Bottom Brass' (with Don Butterfield, 1959), 'The Happy Horns of Clark Terry' (1964), 'Mumbles' (1966), 'It's What's Happenin' (1967), 'Oscar Peterson and Clark Terry' (1975), 'Clark Terry and His Jolly Giants' (1976), 'The Globetrotter' (1977), 'Ain't Misbehavin' (1979), 'To Duke and Basie' (1986), 'Having Fun' (1990), 'The Alternate Blues' (1996), 'Flutin' and Fluglin' (2002) and 'Live at Marian's with Terry's Young Titans of Jazz' (2005)
    Featured in the documentary film 'Keep On Keepin' On' (2014)
    Received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2010)
    Named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts (1991)
    As a kid, he built a makeshift trumpet from a garden hose and a funnel, which made such a horrible noise that his neighbors took up a collection to buy him a trumpet from a pawnshop.
    In one of his first gigs, he joined a traveling carnival and wound up stranded in Mississippi when it ran out of money.
    He was married three times, divorced twice.
    He said his biggest regret in his career was lying to Count Basie by claiming he was leaving his band because of exhaustion (when the real reason was to play with Duke Ellington).
    His playing inspired fellow trumpeters Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis.
    He could play duets with himself, manipulating the valves of a flugelhorn with his right hand and a trumpet with his left.
    He could also play a melodic solo using only his lips and the mouthpiece from a trumpet.
    He was the first black staff musician hired by NBC.
    He was sent by the State Department on tours of Asia and the Middle East as a 'jazz ambassador' (1978-81).
    Leonard Feather wrote, 'Terry wraps up all the best aspects of jazz both as art and entertainment. He is melodic, he has his own sound, his own phrasing, his own puckish sense of humor.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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