Selection: Nahstye Blues (Terry)
Clark Terry (tpt, fgh) Jimmy Knepper (tbn) Julius Watkins (fh) Seldon Powell (ts, fl) Yusef Lateef (ts, fl, ob, eh) Tommy Flanagan (p) Joe Benjamin (b) Ed Shaughnessy (d) recorded Nola’s Penthouse Sound Studios, NYC, November 19, 1960
Emerging in the Fifties from the Basie and Ellington big bands, trumpet/ flugelhorn player Clark Terry enjoyed a nearly seventy year musical career, though the lions share of that was in the musicians safe harbour of jazz education rather than front-line performance. He was still standing in his nineties when I last checked – one of the hazards of writing about musicians from the jazz age is you miss the obit’.
This is surprisingly my first Clark Terry album, another delight on the short-lived Candid label. The most attractive part of this recording is the variety of stellar sidesmen – Lateef, Flanagan, and Knepper, not to miss Seldon Powell as alternate tenor, a new name to me. The quality of playing shines out from every track with a changing roster that ensures continued interest. I sat and enjoyed every track of both sides.
Scott Yanow (Allmusic) offers a more informed critical review
This is one of Clark Terry’s finest albums. Terry had complete control over the music and, rather than have the usual jam session, he utilized an octet and arrangements by Yusef Lateef, Budd Johnson, and Al Cohn. The lineup (lists artists to pad review) lives up to its potential, and the charts make good use of the sounds of these very individual stylists. The material, which consists of originals by Terry, Duke Jordan, Lateef, and Bob Wilber, is both rare and fresh, and the interpretations always swing. Highly recommended.
Good to know we arrive independently at the same conclusions.
Vinyl: Candid CJM 8009 US original 1960 deep groove mono
Candid are more commonly seen as lightweight 80’s German Phonoco reissues. In contrast, this is a rich-sounding genuine deep groove 1960 New York press, everything as it should be, in glorious mono.(though I am told the stereo is quite good too)
“CLARK TERRY QUARTET:COLOR CHANGES. CANDID 8009 MONO RELEASED 1960 DEEP GROOVE FIRST PRESSING. W/YUSEF LATEEF/JIMMY KNEPPER/TOMMY FLANAGAN, LOVELY LP. EX- COUPLE LIGHT SCUFFS PLAYS FINE/EX I DO NOT SELL TO ITALY THIS ITEM HAS BEEN RELISTED AS THE BUYER CANCELLED THE PURCHASE”
I was a bidder on the initial auction, but pushed out by two other bidders, so not even the price-setter. I licked my wounds, resigned in the opinion that the winning bid was at least double what it was worth (set by second bidder), but the market is never wrong – even when it is.
What was a surprise was to see it re-listed a few weeks later. The seller decided not to run with a second chance offer, or second chance bidder declined. So he decided a fresh auction would maximise his return. Bad call. I went back in with a reasonable bid on the relisting, only to discover the lack of competition second time around meant it came in at half my reasonable bid, and a third of the price the defaulting buyer won at first time around. There are days you almost feel sorry for sellers. Almost, not actually. The market is never wrong – even when it is – for once, in your favour