By Don Valentine
Jazz legend Mr. Terrell Stratford will bring his excellent tour to the Broward Performing Art Center on March 11th. He was a former band member and friend of the great McCoy Tyner. On March 9th 2011 an N.P.R. interview with Mr. Stafford expounded on how influenced he was by the talents of Billy Strayhorn.
It is said by some that composer Billy Strayhorn wrote some of the most exquisite melodies in the history of jazz, and American jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan is considered to be one of the key hard bop musicians of the 1960s. Morgan came to prominence in his late teens, recording on John Coltrane’s Blue Train (1957) and with the band of drummer Art Blakey before launching a solo career.
One story goes that during a cross-country train ride to join Ellington in Los Angeles, Strayhorn, still young in his career, got almost no sleep for six straight days, writing song after song after song.
This prolific, engaging new work kept the Ellington Orchestra afloat for months, and when it was time for a new radio theme—Ellington’s own “Sepia Panorama” was still forbidden on the airwaves—Ellington chose Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” premiering it in early 1941.
Quincy Jones said “Take the ‘A’ Train was the Holy Grail. It identifies a lifestyle because of the Harlem Renaissance. It says it all in 32 bars.”
Terell can do this duo justice. He has been hailed by McCoy Tyner as “a fabulous trumpet player, who gets up close and personal.”
Terell is acclaimed as an incredibly gifted and versatile player who combines a deep love of melody with his own personal brand of spirited adventurous lyricism and his unique expressiveness ,making him unafraid to take chances.