Yesterday, trumpet and flugelhorn player Clark Terry passed away at the age of 94. He was not a free jazz musician, not by a long stretch, but a real bopper and bluesman, so I am a little bit out of my league commenting on him. But then again, he has offered me so much musical joy, and still does, when I listen to his albums with the Trumpet Kings, the four trumpet front with Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge and Harry 'Sweets' Edison, and with Oscar Peterson on piano, playing blues and boogie and bop in a great spirit of improvised fun and the happiness of playing together, mostly live with enthusiastic audiences, who still applaud after each solo.
I'm listening to it now, and it's hard to qualify the music as artistic, in the sense of creating innovative listening experiences, yet what it lacks in artistic character, is largely compensated by the entertainment level, the presence of the musicians, the beautiful sounds of the trumpets and the fantastic atmosphere.
Thanks for the great music, Clark!