Saturday, January 30, 2010

Clark Terry’s
Lifetime Achievement Award

Trumpeter and flugelhornist Clark Terry is one of seven musicians receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards today from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The other honorees: Leonard Cohen, Bobby Darin, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Michael Jackson, Loretta Lynn, and André Previn.

I was lucky to do a radio interview with Clark Terry some years ago, when I was putting in two hours a week playing jazz at my university’s FM station. (The station then aired four hours of classical music and five hours of jazz a day, with bluegrass, blues, hip-hop, indie rock, and reggae in the evenings. Now the station plays “hits.”) Clark was on campus to lead a workshop and perform, and had agreed to come over to the station in the afternoon for an interview. He and I talked for an hour on the air. I consider that hour one the most memorable experiences in my life: the opportunity to talk not only with a great musician but with a great Ellingtonian. It was a really good interview. The interviewer, as you might imagine, had done his homework.

The Grammy Awards air tomorrow night on CBS, 8:00 Eastern Time. I hope that the Lifetime Achievement awardees get more than just a perfunctory roll call. We’ll see.

Related reading
Clark Terry’s website
NARAS press release

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