‘Billie’s Bounce,’ Clark Terry, James Moody and George Benson

Clark Terry in 1988.

Clark Terry in 1988.

The great jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player Clark Terry, who died last month at the age of 94, was not a native New Jerseyan. But he did work as an adjunct professor at the renowned jazz program at William Paterson University in Wayne for many years, and his archive of instruments, arrangements and memorabilia is hosted there.

Terry, whose long career included stints in both Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands, is shown below performing “Billie’s Bounce” at a Finnish jazz festival in 1988. Featured with him are two other musicians with strong New Jersey ties: saxophonist James Moody (1925–2010), who grew up in Newark, and for whom NJPAC’s annual TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival is named; and guitarist George Benson, who has lived for much of his life in Bergen County.

The Charlie Parker-written “Billie’s Bounce,” by the way, has nothing to do with Billie Holiday. Its title refers to Billie Miller, a woman who worked as a secretary for musicians’ agent Billy Shaw.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


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