Clark Terry, I finally got to meet you when you played a concert with the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble for the Spotlight Jazz Series
I had a piano solo on one of the tunes, a fast blues, as I recall
Then you took your solo
I don’t think I was a hard act to follow.
You played with both Basie and Ellington
You played in the Tonight Show Band with Johnnie Carson
You played trumpet and flugelhorn
You also scat-sang, but you made it sound like mumbling
You combined fuzzy syllables into not-quite-understandable words.
On the concert, you played a tune called “Sheba”
Turns out Sheba was a dog.
The day of the concert, you sat with the band and told stories about famous jazzers
Not everything was complimentary
I’ll leave it at that.
You were also an advocate of jazz education
And you were a class act.