2 rare sides of work by trumpeter Clark Terry
– both with a fair bit more edge than many of his later recordings! The first half of the CD is from the amazing 1955 album Clark Terry
for Emarcy – a real stunner, and one of Terry
's finest moments ever! The record has a rawness and groove that you'd hardly expect from his later albums – no surprise, though, considering that it was cut during that really hip time at Emarcy, when the label was working in a mode that was darker and more challenging than many of the smaller labels at the time. Credit is also due to arranger Quincy Jones – who pulls together a group that includes Horace Silver, Jimmy Cleveland, Cecil Payne, and Art Blakey, all into a fiercely grooving sound that recalls some of his most adventurous work of the 50s. The album kicks off with the stunning "Swahili", a tune that will instantly make you happy you bought the record – and other tracks include "Coop", "Chuckles", "Tuma", "Kitten", and "The Countess". These tracks are followed by 8 more from an obscure 1954 session done under the leadership of clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton – and featuring Terry
on trumpet, Barry Galbraith and Sidney Gross on guitars, Oscar Pettiford on bass, and Osie Johnson on drums – all in a really unusual group formation that's totally great! One guitar's used for solos and the other for rhythm – and the lack of piano gives the record a decidedly different swing than you might expect from a Jimmy Hamilton session – one that's less traditional, and more airy and open – really inventive in the rhythmic construction of the tunes, in a mode that's followed up very nicely by the soloists in their own energy. Titles include "Chuckles", "Bohemia After Dark", "Blues In My Room", "Blues For Clarinet", and "What Am I Here For".