Clark Terry Part 2 – Episode 24


On this episode of the Chiaroscuro Podcast, we feature one of jazz’ most acclaimed and most widely recorded trumpet players, Clark Terry.

About Clark Terry

Clark Terry’s career in jazz spanned over 70 years, and he appeared on some 900 albums from the 1940s until the 2010s. Known for his virtuosic playing, but spirit of good fun, he was also a one of the people who helped to bring the flugelhorn to jazz. He gave trumpet lessons to Quincy Jones, and also served as a mentor to generations of jazz musicians, including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock,. Wynton Marsalis and Pat Metheny to name a few.

Clark Terry was born in St. Louis and began his music career there, then became a member of the US Navy Band during World War II, and then went on to play extensively with the big bands of Charlie Barnet, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. In 1962 he began what would become a 10-year membership in the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra, led by Skitch Henderson and later Doc Severinson.

Later on, he became active as an educator and mentor to many jazz musicians, holding many clinics at schools.

An Appreciation of Clark Terry

The roster of truly great jazz players includes those few who could truly do it all and among those Clark Terry stands at the very top. His skills certified membership in the Big Bands of Basie, Ellington, Mulligan, Q. Jones and the Tonight Show Orchestra along with impressive studio work. In small combos he played with virtually all the greats of his time including Monk, Hawkins, Peterson, Brookmeyer and many more, all with critical and popular recognition for his distinct sound, incredible solos and star quality as an entertainer. Clark was also a first call favorite of great producers, Granz, Wein, Keepnews and O’Neal. To read his immense discography is to discover that he truly held his own with more great soloists than just about any other player from the 1940’s into the 21st century.

It is a privilege to have his presence and influence on Chiaroscuro.

-Andrew Sordoni


About the Music

His prolific recording career also included several albums as both a leader and sideman on Chiaroscuro Records from the late 1980s to 2004, performing with both smaller groups, big bands, in the studio and one some of the jazz ocean cruises with performances released on Chiaroscuro. Clerk Terry’s first album for Chiaroscuro was called Spacemen, named after a tune Terry originally wrote for the Ellington orchestra.

About The Chiaroscuro Podcast

Chiaroscuro Director of Artistry & Repertoire George Graham produces and hosts The Chiaroscuro Podcast. Explore the works of other Chiaroscuro performers in our Artists Section. Check out other episodes of the Chiaroscuro Podcast here