Monday, February 13, 2017

Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer's Complete live Recordings (1962-1965)

One of my favourite albums is The Power of Positive Swinging, a 1965 LP featuring a quintet led by Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer. They formed the group in 1961, when Brookmeyer was asked to assemble a band to play at the Half Note club in New York. Bob wanted to use Clark Terry, but Clarks contract with NBC forbade him to play outside engagements unless he was the leader, so the quintet was formed with his name first. Brookmeyer wouldnt have minded, because he and Terry were close friends, as their playing on these sessions reflects.
Their instruments combine mellifluously together, and their styles were similar. Both men could play quietly and smoothly as well as more powerfully with the occasional growl, and they could both (especially Clark) bend notes as if there was a glissando button on their instruments. They also shared a sense of humour, which may be detected in the curves of "Just An Old Manuscript". On this track Terry plays a duet with himself, andIncoherent Blues is very like Clarks famous Mumbles parody of the blues. He even adds a comical vocal to the second version of "Things Aint What They Used To Be", with bluesy lyrics of his own devising.
These live recordings date from 1962 and 1965, and all were recorded at the Half Note, except for tracks 5 to 11 on the first CD which come from a Jazz 625 programme recorded by the BBC in London with a local rhythm section. The London tracks disprove the ancient belief that British rhythm sections of the period couldnt swing, although a few of Allan Ganleys drum breaks are awkward.
The quintets repertoire was a tasty mixture of jazz standards and originals by Terry or Brookmeyer. "Stolen Moments" is a good example of what the sleeve-note calls Clark Terrys characteristic dancing figures, which make a neat contrast to Brookmeyers more earthy improvising.
I marginally prefer the second of the two CDs because it uses a more adventurous rhythm section : the same one as that on The Power of Positive Swinging. It is interesting to compare the version of "Straight, No Chaser" here with the interpretation on the first CD, which illustrate the groups adaptability. The second one is almost twice as long as the first. While the first one ends with a series of staccato notes, the second one begins with these. Roger Kellaways piano is consistently fascinating but here he excels himself, while Bill Crow and Dave Bailey keep things moving.
The recording quality varies throughout the various sessions, with the sound sometimes muddy or mingled with audience chatter. But the musicianship is continuously first-class."
Tony Augarde

Source :

Clark Terry
Bob Brookmeyer
Complete Live Recordings


cd. 1

1 Simple Waltz (Terry)  10:00
2 Things Aint What They Used to Be (Mercer Ellington)  8:32
3 Just an Old Manuscript (Redman-Razaf)  10:14
4 Stolen Moments (Nelson)  9:20
5 Hymn (Parker)  0:37
6 Straight, No Chaser (Monk)  6:00
7 Pretty Girl (Brookmeyer)  3:55
8 Hum (Brookmeyer)  5:52
9 Things Aint What They Used to Be (Mercer Ellington)  6:03
10 Tete-a-Tete (Terry)  5:46
11 Hymn (Parker)  0:58


cd. 2

1 Sometime Ago (Brookmeyer)  6:31
2 Incoherent Blues (Terry)  5:47
3 Straight, No Chaser (Monk)  11:10
4 Weep (McFarland)  7:40
5 Hum (Brookmeyer)  5:57
6 Pretty Girl (Brookmeyer)  7:19
7 On the Alamo (Jones-Kahn)  10:45
8 The King (Basie)  7:15


[Cd. 1, # 1-4]
Clark Terry - tp & flh
Bob Brookmeyer - tb
Eddie Costa - p
Joe Benjamin - b
Osie Johnson - dr
Recorded live at the Half Note, New York ; 1962
[Cd. 1, # 5-11]
Clark Terry - tp, flh & vcl
Bob Brookmeyer - tb
Laurie Holloway - p
Rick Laird - b
Allan Ganley - dr
Recorded live at the BBC, Jazz 625, London ; February 1965
[Cd. 2]
Clark Terry - tp, flh & vcl [# 1-6]
Zoot Sims - ts [# 7-8]
Bob Brookmeyer - tb
Roger Kellaway - p
Bill Crow - b
Dave Bailey - dr
Recorded live at the Half Note, New York ; December 3 [# 1-2], 10 [# 3-4], June 18 [# 5-6], & November 26 [# 7-8], 1965


Melanchthon said...

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Great post, thank you very much Mel!!

Anonymous said...

Terry and Brookmeyer ! and Zoot!, and Mr. Bailey, et al.! Thanks a lot MM, these are great artists.

sep troelstra said...

Many thanks for the backup!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the high quality music you've been offering all these years.


Kneigh said...

Many thanks for this live Terry & Brookmeyer, Melanchthon!! It's great to hear "Mumbles & Grumbles" in this environment!! Mr. Brookmeyer has been a big fav of mine for many moons, and the two of them have always complimented each other on all their other recordings I have. Again, many thanx!!

deGallo said...

Thank you.

stringbender said...

Great stuff! Many thanks.

francisco santos said...

great find!!!....

upkerry14 said...

Great players one and all. Thanks for the share.

Fred Archtop said...

Thanks Mel.

Kovina Kris said...

Always interested in more Brookmeyer. Thank you!

AmyBRAINS said...