The venerable Clark Terry left this planet on Feb. 21, 2015. Although I never had the honor of meeting him, I loved his music and his amazing contributions to not only Jazz but to music education worldwide. He will be greatly missed. The music world is all the better for having had his presence for so long. Thank you, Maestro Terry.
Joonji by Clark Terry and Chico O’Farrill from the CD Best of Jazz Trumpet
Clark Terry (December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015)
Clark Terry’s career in jazz spanned more than seventy years. He was a world-class trumpeter, flugelhornist, educator, composer, writer, trumpet/flugelhorn designer, teacher and NEA Jazz Master. He performed for eight U.S. Presidents, and was a Jazz Ambassador for State Department tours in the Middle East and Africa. More than fifty jazz festivals featured him at sea and on land in all seven continents. Many have been named in his honor.
He was one of the most recorded musicians in the history of jazz, with more than nine-hundred recordings. Clark’s discography reads like a “Who’s Who In Jazz,” with personnel that includes greats such as Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Ben Webster, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Barnet, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Billy Strayhorn, Dexter Gordon, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, Milt Jackson, Bob Brookmeyer, and Dianne Reeves.
Clark Terry’s Comments
Terry’s Beer ’n’ Beans is a variation of the New Orleans standard he picked up from Billy Stryhorn. “Billy didn’t care about what kind of beer covered the beans,” he laughs. “He just liked the idea of using beer. All I know is that soaking and cooking the beans in beer gives them a different taste.”
Beer ’n’ Beans
Recipe from “Jazz Cooks, Portraits and Recipes of the Greats”
by Bob Young and Al Stankus
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish or 4 as a main course with rice
2 cups kidney or pinto beans, washed and sorted through to remove any debris
Approx. 2 (12-ounce) bottles beer
1 or 2 meaty ham bones, or two smoked sausages (cut into pieces), or 3 or 4 turkey wings, or any kind of smoked meat that you prefer (or any combination that suits your taste)
1 onion, quartered (optional)
1 potato, quartered (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Place the beans in a large pot and cover completely with beer. Soak the beans at room temperature overnight, adding more beer as needed. When ready to cook, place the beans and beer in the large pot over low heat. Add the meat, onion and potato (if using), salt and pepper. Add more beer or a mix of beer and water, if needed, to cover the beans. Cover the pot and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom.