Right in the middle of celebrating his 79th birthday, Clark Terry went into the studio for several days to record 14 duets with a different pianist on each track, with many of them being veterans of many record dates and/or concerts with him. Terry remains one of the most easily identifiable trumpeters and flügelhorn players in jazz, so much so that more than one critic has claimed the ability to identify him after just one note. Each track is dedicated to a great performer of the past, though no attempt is made to copy famous recordings, of course. Terry's brilliant flügelhorn swings mightily along with Monty Alexander on the surprising dedication to Nat King Cole of "L.O.V.E.," which was a hit for him after Cole had all but quit playing piano and enjoyed even greater success as a popular singer.
If ever there were a popular work of minimalism, one that stated its purpose so clearly it could not be mistaken, Terry Riley's legendary composition In C is the one. It is a work that needs no explanation for its pulsing sequences of pitch all centering around the 53 phases of no duration played on the note and its performances have been numerous–even if there have been relatively few recordings of it. The Bang on a Can all-stars have recorded perhaps the most innovative version of the work thus far, after Riley's own, which was issued in the 1960s on Columbia's long defunct Odyssey label.
The legendary duo Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee was a veritable museum of folk-blues. Guitar, song and bluesharp join together in a richly varied interplay to form one of the most important sources of rhythm & blues.
Harmonica player Sonny Terry was one of the initial bluesmen who crossed over into areas not normally associated with the genre before he came along. Along with his partner, guitarist Brownie McGhee, Terry played on numerous folk recordings with the likes of Woody Guthrie, developed an acting career showcased on television and Broadway, and never compromised his unique high-pitched penetrating harmonica style called whoopin'…