LSM Newswire

Friday, November 13, 2009

Canadian Jazz Icon Terry Clarke releases CD "It's About Time"

Featuring Phil Dwyer, Don Thompson, Jim Hall, Joe Lovano and Greg Osby ...and celebrates his first fifty years in Jazz!!!

“It’s About Time is a series of intimate and emotionally compelling jazz conversations between friends and colleagues...my sole purpose at this juncture in my life is to present music that embodies the joy that I feel playing with friends...good no-holds-barred jazz with good people.” --Terry Clarke

OCTOBER 25, 2009 – TORONTO/NEW YORK CITY - Iconic, multiple award-winning Canadian jazz drummer, Terry Clarke has recorded and performed internationally with the crème de la crème of jazz for over half a century. Finally – he has momentarily stepped away from his beloved sideman status in order to produce his first recording as a leader, It’s About Time (BlueMusicGroup.com). For this auspicious debut, Terry chose a title with a distinctive double-entendre and has presented music written and performed by five jazz luminaries with whom he has a long musical and personal history: multi-saxophonist and Blue Note recording artist Joe Lovano, multi-instrumentalist Phil Dwyer, alto saxophonist Greg Osby, guitarist Jim Hall and long-time musical collaborator (and award-winning multi-instrumentalist/arranger/composer) Don Thompson. The material on It’s About Time was co-produced by Clarke and Mika Pohjola of BlueMusicGroup.com and has been culled from three amazing “LIVE” concert events: A January 2000 presentation of JAZZ FM 91’s prestigious and long-running “Sounds of Toronto” jazz concert series, as well as two different concerts recorded by the CBC at The Montreal International Jazz Festival of 2000, where Jim Hall appeared in a variety of formats as an honoured guest. A Cross-Canada Jazz Festival Tour (Summer 2010) is in the works for Terry and his ensemble, as well as CD Launch events in Vancouver, B.C. and New York City (dates T.B.A.).

It’s About Time opens with the dynamic and melodically progressive (as well as percussive) “Feel Free”, composed by stellar tenorist Joe Lovano. This tune not only sets the mood for the rest of the recording, but displays the free-flowing communication that runs rampant between these master musicians. Next up is legendary jazz guitarist Jim Hall’s jaunty island foray “Say Hello to Calypso” followed by Phil Dwyer’s swinging bop composition “Flanders Road”, which features Phil on some breathtaking sax work – a cacophony of saxophony. Track four is piano giant McCoy Tyner’s “Passion Dance”, which opens with a solo section of Clarke’s dextrous, dark, elemental and pulsating percussion. A highlight is Don Thompson’s gorgeous and evocative ballad “Days Gone By”, on which he thrills us with his multi-textured piano playing while Phil Dwyer explores other realms with his saxophone. Jim Hall’s stunning performance on “In a Sentimental Mood” (from the immortal Duke Ellington) is a stand-out as it wrings a startling array of musical and emotional nuances from his sumptuous guitar...and Greg Osby’s lyrical alto solo is perfection itself. It’s About Time closes with the Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern’s jazz standard “All the Things You Are” (originally written for the hit Broadway musical “’Til the Clouds Roll By”) on which Lovano, Hall, Thompson, Osby and Clarke soar in the rarefied air of musical symbiosis and symmetry.

About Terry Clarke…
International jazz drummer, Terry Clarke, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and began displaying his rhythmic aptitude at a very early age. He was twelve years old when he began studying formally with noted drum teacher and author, Jim Blackley. Blackley was, and is to this day, a primary and ongoing figure in Terry’s continuing development as a musician.

In 1965, Terry moved to San Francisco to work with the legendary saxophonist, John Handy III. He performed with Handy for the next two and a half years, during which time the GRAMMY nominated recording, Live at The Monterey Jazz Festival (Columbia – 1966) was made. Following the John Handy experience (which included Terry’s long-time musical collaborator and friend, Don Thompson), Terry began building his reputation for versatility by joining the world-famous pop vocal group, “The Fifth Dimension”. The Grammy-winning group was at the height of their popularity, and Terry traveled and performed extensively with them throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe.

Terry left “The Fifth” in 1970, and subsequently re-located to Toronto. For the next fifteen years, he played an abundance of jazz in all styles, and established himself as a major figure in Toronto’s then-considerable studio scene. Countless television shows, jingles and recording dates were Terry’s mainstay, as well performances in legendary Toronto jazz clubs, “George’s Spaghetti House”, “Bourbon Street” and “Basin Street” – often working with international jazz figures such as Frank Rossolino and Lenny Breau. During this time, Terry also toured extensively in Japan and Europe with jazz guitar legend, Jim Hall and piano great, Oscar Peterson.

Terry Clarke is well known as an original member of the world-acclaimed jazz big-band, “Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass”. For twenty-five years he recorded and toured with the ensemble, helping to define its remarkable and dynamic signature sound. In 1985, looking for greater musical challenges, Terry moved to New York City to pursue an exclusively jazz-oriented career. During his tenure there, he worked and recorded with The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Helen Merrill, Toots Theilemans, Ann Hampton Callaway, Red Mitchell, Marvin Stamm, Jim Hall, Bill Mays, Roger Kellaway and the late Joe Roccisano (to name just a few).

Having recorded over 400 albums with various jazz artists, Terry Clarke is a familiar face at Jazz Festivals, Concert Halls and Venues throughout the world. In August of 1999, after fifteen productive years in New York, he returned to Toronto with his wife Lesley, and their two young sons, Kristopher and Kyle. In October of that same year, Terry re-united with Rob McConnell, and joined “The Rob McConnell Tentet” – an exciting ensemble that is fueled by talented musicians and the brilliant writing of valve trombonist, McConnell. The “Tentet” received a GRAMMY nomination, as well as a JUNO award for their self-titled debut CD, has consistently garnered rave reviews and awards for their subsequent recordings on the Justin Time label. Terry Clarke’s most recent release is Bick’s Bag (Triplet Records), featuring the trio of Bill Mays, Neil Swainson and Terry Clarke. The well-received recording is a tribute to Canadian jazz guitar legend, Ed Bickert.

Terry Clarke continues to perform and record with a number of international artists, such as Nancy Wilson, Bill Mays, Renee Rosnes, Jim Hall and Helen Merrill, as well as with an exciting line-up of Canadian musicians such as David Braid, Jake Langley, Don Thompson, Nancy Walker, Neil Swainson and David Occhipinti. Terry is also an enthusiastic jazz educator, and for the past three years has been a member of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, and for six consecutive years (2002-2008), he has been honoured as “Drummer of the Year” at the annual National Jazz Awards. Terry Clarke is also extremely proud to have been recently named as a Member of the Order of Canada – Canada’s highest civilian honour.

IT’S ABOUT TIME was recorded January 15th , 2000 at The Ontario Science Centre – Produced by Ted O’Reilly and Engineered by William Van Ree for JAZZ FM 91 - and July 6th and 8th, 2000 at The Montreal International Jazz Festival -
Recorded by CBC/Radio Canada
Co-Produced by Terry Clarke and Mika Pohjola for BlueMusicGroup.com
Mixed and Mastered by Mika Pohjola
Cover Art and Design by Petr Cancura
Additional Photos by Bill King, Carolyn A. McKeone and William E. Clarke
Joe Lovano appears courtesy of Blue Note Records
It’s About Time is dedicated to memory of the late, great Gordon “Whitey” Mitchell

IT’S ABOUT TIME is available for purchase through
BlueMusicGroup.com, Atelier Gregorian and other fine music outlets in Canada and the U.S.

For the finest in contemporary jazz, please visit the eco-friendly Cyber-label,
BlueMusicGroup.com

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