Who is the only musician in history to have played with a Count (Basie), a Duke (Ellington), a Doc (Severinsen, in the Tonight Show band), a Monk (Thelonious, of course), and a Pres (Clinton, a part-time tenor man, at the 1993 White House Jazz Party)? Nobody else but Clark Terry (b. 1920), whose warm and witty stylings on trumpet and flugelhorn have long been among jazz's foremost pleasures. This set, combining two distinctly different albums made less than a year apart in 1961 and '62, finds Terry's horns fronting a tightly-knit septet, smartly arranged by Oliver Nelson (1930-75) and featuring two undervalued giants, tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson (1910-84) and, in one of his last recorded appearances, pianist Eddie Costa (1930-62). The group works wonders with a long-forgotten Broadway score from the team that created Bye Bye Birdie, while a quartet, featuring the stalwart Junior Mance on piano, spotlights the leader's speech-like, insinuating solos in an unusually well-chosen program of standards and originals.
with Budd Johnson, Lester Robertson, George Barrow, Eddie Costa, Junior Mance, Art Davis, Joe Benjamin, Eddie Shaughnessy, Charlie Persip