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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Happy Horns of Clark Terry/
It's What's Happenin'

Impulse 06025 2780957



The Happy Horns of Clark Terry
1. Rockin' in Rhythm
2. In a Mist
3. Return to Swahili
4. Ellington Rides Again: Don't Get Around Much Any More/Perdido/I'm Beginning to See the Light
5. Impulsive
6. Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me
7. Jazz Conversations
8. High Towers
Clark Terry - Trumpet, flugelhorn
Phil Woods - Alto sax, clarinet
Ben Webster - Tenor sax
Roger Kellaway - Piano
Milt Hinton - Bass
Walter Perkins - Drums
It's What's Happenin'
9. Electric Mumbles
10. Secret Love
11. Take Me Back to Elkhart
12. Take the "A" Train
13. Tee Pee Time
14. Grand Canyon Suite
Clark Terry - Varitone trumpet
Don Friedman - Piano
George Duvivier - Bass
Dave Bailey - Drums

This CD is one of a series of two-for-one reissues from the Impulse catalogue, offering two original LPs at a very acceptable price. The first album comes from 1965 and it features Clark Terry with a dream team of a band: every member a star. The programme has a very Ellingtonian atmosphere, starting with an ingenious arrangement of Rockin' in Rhythm featuring the sweet, chirruping sound of Terry's trumpet, plus the smooth alto of Phil Woods and the gruff tenor of Ben Webster.

Bix Beiderbecke's In a Mist is taken at a slower pace than usual, with lovely voicing in the theme. Arranger Bob Hammer deserves credit for his imaginative interpretation of the tune, which is divided into several sections. Clark Terry's composition Return to Swahili has a heated African feel, where Terry duets with drummer Walter Perkins on the tomtoms.

The Duke Ellington medley offers Phil Woods in Don't Get Around Much Any More, Ben Webster in Perdido, and Clark Terry in I'm Beginning to See the Light. Impulsive was written by Johnny Hodges and it is given a sensitive reading especially in Roger Kellaway's twinkling piano solo. Ben Webster's tenor sax warms up Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me before Clark Terry comes in to proclaim flamboyantly. Here and elsewhere, Terry bends notes and produces amazing flurries on trumpet and flugelhorn.

Clark solos with just double bass backing in Jazz Conversations, which also has worthy solos from Kellaway, Woods, Webster and Hinton. The closing High Towers has Terry on seductive, fluttering flugelhorn and a sparkling piano solo from Roger Kellaway.

The second album dates from 1967 and was originally sub-titled "The Varitone Sound of Clark Terry". Clark was the first person to record an album using Selmer's Varitone electronic trumpet, which somehow answered back to him. Electric Mumbles features his mumbling vocals, which converse with the trumpet in a way that makes remarkable sense. Terry also sings in Take the A" Train, using the lyrics pioneered by Betty Roch‚, before resorting to casual conversation and more mumbling. The other tracks enable Clark to stretch out, accompanied just by the very able rhythm section. They all jazz up Ferdy Grof‚'s Grand Canyon Suite with jaunty cheerfulness.

Take Me Back to Elkhart (apparently the Selmer factory) is a groovy blues which lets Terry explore the whole range of the Varitone trumpet. The instrument never caught on, but it is good to have Terry's unique use on record, especially at a bargain price. Highly recommended.

Tony Augarde

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