What a celebration it was. This was the kind of night jazz fans dream of, with a stage full of masterful players and a mood full of fun. The focus was on bop and blues, and the musicians generated the kind of mutual chemistry that audiences love, because the players so obviously love one another and what they're up to. They not only play together, they play with each other, as in Terry and Monteiro's joyful interplay during a freeform blues medley.
Clark Terry is given center stage for a time to display both his mastery of his horn and his considerable talent as a story teller, and he's a man with some stories to tell. When he announces a "low down, greasy, grimy, chit'lin type blues," he delivers, and when he turns to the Thelonious Monk book for "Let's Cool One," he shows why people have been standing in line to hear him play for over a half a century.
Terry's only one of five here, though, and there's not a disappointing performance from any member of the ensemble. Cobb and Woode offer a master class in jazz rhythm, and Harrison comps, fills and solos with ease and grace. Shawnn Moneiro hold her own with a rich voice that serves as a lead instrument in itself. It's just an amazing ensemble, and it was truly One Special Night.