Versatile Sue Terry Promises Sweet Night Of Jazz "Sweet" Sue Terry, the noted, New York-based saxophonist, singer, composer, lyricist and band leader with deep ties to Hartford, returns to her old stomping grounds with her quintet Friday night at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.Presented by the Hartford Jazz Society, the 1981 Hartt School graduate and protegee of Hartford jazz great Jackie McLean is making her first appearance in the capital city as a band leader in seven years. As a young player, she honed her skills by jamming regularly in clubs on the heated Hartford jazz scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s.As the next installment of the society's prestigious "Jazz at the Atheneum" series, Terry leads her working band featuring guitarist Saul Rubin, bassist Leon Lee Dorsey, drummer Vincent Ector and percussionist T. Ice.Terry, a Wilton native, has been enjoying a solid year, thanks especially to the release of her two new albums, "Gilly's Caper" and "The Blue.Seum Project. "The two radically different yet equally distinguished releases add to her discography of more than 30 albums as leader, co-leader and side player. Her playing and writing have been featured on recordings by Charli Persip, Bobby Sanabria, Jaki Byard, Fred Ho and Diva, an all-woman jazz band. The nickname Sweet Sue was bestowed upon her by her famous mentors, McLean, Barry Harris, Clifford Jordan and Junior Cook.Terry's two latest discs are excellent showcases for her all-embracing taste. Her ecumenical range makes her much at home with jazz, classical and the multiple types of ethnic music she has been playing regularly for two decades in New York City.'Gilly's Caper,' which features the same quintet she's bringing to Hartford, was the product of six months' labor, a meticulously planned, polished project. The bright solos on 'Gilly's Caper' are, of course, improvised. But everything else - including even the CD's offbeat, highly original liner notes - was carefully planned, yet retains a crisp sense of freshness, immediacy and instant accessibility.In dramatic contrast, 'The Blue.Seum Project' is a spontaneous work laced with pure, on-the-spot, risk-taking adventures in improvisation. Terry and fellow multi-instrumentalist Tim Price play an array of woodwinds before an audience in an intimate art-gallery setting in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.For 'Gilly's Caper,' Terry, who's a lyricist and a witty, amusing blogger on her website (, wrote the liner notes as a short adventure story - a kind of film noir mini-script - about a heroic character named Gilly ("loosely based" on her husband, writer/philosopher Gilbert Barretto.)Phrases such as "Terra Incognita," "Toothless Soothsayer" and "Seal of Solomon" pop up in the story line and later show up on the CD as its song titles.With cinematic impact, the 10 pieces - all written and arranged by Terry - sweep across a wide variety of moods from the magical, mystery tour of "Waterwheel" to the celebratory title tune, "Gilly's Caper," an up-tempo caprice.Besides Terry's solid playing on alto and soprano saxophones, she sings on a couple of tracks in a silken, breathy voice, to especially good effect on her own composition, "The Feel of the Blues."Stylistically, the CD's repertoire ranges over rhythmic pieces, hybrid mixes that Terry describes as "world jazz," mainstream ventures and even a contemporary jazz selection. For all their variety, the pieces flow coherently and collectively into a natural sounding suite form.Terry explains that she composed the music for "Gilly's Caper" as "a soundtrack" for the waggish tale she wrote about her Dashiell Hammett-like anti-hero, Gilly, and his last dangerous mission. Gilly's caper comes complete with a pulp fiction femme fatale, a snub-nosed .38, a gun-running Toothless Soothsayer, a Maltese Falcon-like Seal of Solomon and a late night den of iniquity called Terra Incognita.I'm a big fan of people really listening to music and kind of seeing pictures in their mind and having the music take them somewhere," Terry says by phone from her apartment in Brooklyn.So I try to compose and play in a way that will suggest images and ideas to a listener because I think that's what music does. Music takes you somewhere because it's an art form that unfolds in time," she says. While Terry thrives on the discipline of composing and arranging and has mastered a worldwide range of styles - everything from Caribbean to African rhythms and harmonies - she also loves the challenge of playing completely free. That means starting with no set chord changes - utterly without even the familiar "I Got Rhythm" and blues changes - and without modal scales or anything whatsoever to hang your hat on harmonically, melodically or rhythmically.Totally free improvisers create on the razor's edge, a hazardous, even frequently lethal starting point. Open-ended freedom is, at best, a dicey venture that only true masters of their instruments, like Terry, can transform into an art form.Terry and Price, her collaborator on "Blue.Seum," are old friends who had been talking for years about recording a totally free-form collaboration. Kindred spirits aesthetically and with a common musical background, each started out under the tutelage of a master jazz saxophonist. Price, who came up in Philadelphia, began with the great Charlie Mariano. Terry, while at Hartt, studied with McLean, who was not only a master saxophonist/composer but also an influential, empathetic jazz educator.Terry, who was named Hartt School's Alumna of the Year in 2001, was the first graduate of the jazz studies program that McLean founded at Hartt. Today the program is known as the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz.Price and Terry, both of whom are from white, middle-class backgrounds, also share a similar multicultural experience, since, from their teens, they have worked extensively with racially diverse bands. And both share a heightened awareness of and passion for ethnic music from around the world, knowledge they've honed by playing prolifically in bands of every ethnic style.As a wunderkind alto player, Terry quickly became a featured regular on the bustling music circuit in Haiti, a country she loves and where she has performed innumerable times.Jamming in Haiti, while absorbing its music and culture, was merely a first step in Terry's worldwide travels and absorption of virtually everything she saw and heard. Her globetrotting experiences have not only broadened her open-ended view of music, but also, in a deep, philosophical sense, taught her much about how people of different colors, diverse beliefs and cultural backgrounds relate to one another.Her career has taken her from appearances at leading jazz clubs and festivals from Tokyo and London to Berlin and Bern, and to plum stateside gigs at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington and Lincoln Center in New York City.Besides making music, Terry loves to write lyrics and short stories; has written popular instructional, "how to play" manuals; and has a lifelong fascination with art, including drawing, printmaking and mixed-media works. Like her late, good friend and fellow Connecticut native, Thomas Chapin, the brilliant, cutting-edge saxophonist/composer from Manchester, Terry has long been interested in the creative process, not just for musicians but also for painters and writers as well.All of which puts her very much in tune with her dual alliance with Price on their free-form woodwind ventures on "Blue.Seum"Graced with a tight, empathetic sense of interplay and inspired by the New York art gallery's creative ambience, the album's 10 "spontaneous compositions" light up with shifting tonal colors, kaleidoscopic moods and flowing lines and shapes drenched in blues and the abstract truth.Before each number, whether it's an extemporaneous homage to Igor Stravinsky or blues-drenched, free-form expressionism, neither musician knows beforehand which instrument he or she will even start with. Price comes armed with tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, B-flat clarinet, stone flute and bassoon. Terry's arsenal includes alto saxophone, B-flat clarinet, flute, ceramic flute, harmonica and an exotic sounding, odd-looking bean-pod percussion instrument she picked up in Port Au Prince.We start in the silence and see where the moment leads us," Terry says. "Each moment engenders the next moment. You feel freedom to create not limited by a given song structure that you have to adhere to."Tickets for the concert: $30 in advance, $35 at the door; $25 in advance for society members, $30 at the door. Students: $5. Obtain tickets at the society office, 116 Cottage Grove Road, Bloomfield, or call 860-242-6688. A cash bar runs the night of the concert from 6 to 10 in the museum's Aetna Theater lobby, where there will be seating at tables. Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant” - Owen McNally

— Hartford Courant, 10/19/06

Tim Price and Sue Terry are familiar names within the saxophone community. Both are well known for their educational endeavors. Through the years, Tim has penned transcription books, reviewed countless CDs in various publications, had a long running association with The Saxophone Journal, and is an often-requested clinician, educator, teacher, with a wonderful set of lessons available right here on Sax On The Web. Sue has written four saxophone books including the most recent Practice Like The Pros and is an in-demand clinician and educator. But to limit their talents to solely educational pursuits and books would be short changing the indisputable fact that they are both monster players.Special moments are bound to happen when two talented people like Tim Price and Sue Terry get together to make spontaneous music. A stream of consciousness-free form interplay of ideas that flow between idioms, and ideas like converging tides, are on display on The Blue.Seum Project. The interplay of these two musicians was recorded live at the Blue Mountain Gallery in New York.The CD opens with Indigo for Anne Waldman with Tim on Bass Clarinet and Sue on Soprano Clarinet. Sue starts out by playing a soaringly beautiful line that evokes an almost Copland like classical moment, only to be transformed soulfully with the entrance of Tim's Bass Clarinet. As the track progresses the listener is treated to bursts of technical virtuosity. The journey of musical idioms continues as they move through a modern dixieland blues tinged feel which simply has to be experienced.One of the standout tracks on the CD is Jam Thang For Ratdog which is dedicated to Bob Weir and his jam band Ratdog. Tim has had the opportunity to play with Ratdog from time to time and has said about Bob Weir, 'What a beautiful human being Bob Weir is. I really dug his vibe musically and the energy he performs with.' When Tim gave him a copy of the new CD he indicated that it was going right into his IPOD. Jam Thang For Ratdog is a track that exudes the best of the jam band format while paying homage to one of the great ambassadors of that genre. To hear Tim speak in glowing terms of his experiences with Bob Weir shows the great spirit of both Tim and Bob.Hearing Tim's Bassoon on the track Karlheinz' Breakfast reminds me of the first time I heard some of the great experimental guitar greats of the 1960s. A flurry of sounds erupts out of it, continuing to weave musical textures between Sue's own wonderful solo lines on flute.There is a cornucopia of musical instruments played by Tim and Sue throughout the CD. Tim opens the CD on Bass Clarinet and plays Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Bassoon, and stone flute on various tracks on the CD. Sue's musical instrument choices on the CD include Clarinet, Alto Sax, Harmonica, Flute, Ceramic Flute, and Percussion. The pairing of instruments throughout the CD is inspired and not always what one would anticipate.There's a host of great tracks on this CD beyond the few I've written about at length. Each track seems to offer another glimpse into the creative spirit of Tim and Sue. They take the listener on a musical journey. As educators, both of these musicians excel and as musicians they are able to give their listeners music that is fresh and creative yet filled with lessons for the so-inclined to find. If there's a lesson in the music on this CD for aspiring players it is 'listen'. Listen to your partner. Open your ears and play from the heart. That's a wonderful lesson to take away from a wonderful set of music.Tim Price is a Selmer clinician who endorses Selmer saxophones and clarinets. His website can be found at Terry is a Yamaha Performing Artist who uses Consoli ligatures and Fibracell reeds. Her website can be found at” - Forum admin

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