Keep On, Keepin' On
Original Score By: Justin Kauflin and Dave Grusin
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the documentary Keep On, Keepin' On, we are introduced to jazz legend Clark Terry, a pioneer of his time. In his seventy years in the jazz scene, Terry is one of the few to have ever performed in both Count Basie and Duke Ellington's bands, became the first African American staff musician at NBC on The Tonight Show and became a mentor to such greats as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Keep On, Keepin' On focuses on Terry's relationship with up and coming blind jazz pianist Justin Kauflin and his struggles to make it in the jazz scene. Through this relationship, we get glimpses into Clark Terry's amazing jazz career.
The Keep On, Keepin' On Soundtrack is a jazz lover's dream featuring Clark Terry performing with the Oscar Peterson Trio, Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra and more. Songs include Brotherhood of Man, Candy, Mumbles, Harlem Air Shift, Girl Talk, Jazz Conversations and more. Original score by Justin Kauflin and Dave Grusin serve as both an interlude between scenes and an homage to jazz. There are bits of dialogue from the film interspersed between the music tracks which give us insight into Clark Terry's career, his feelings toward his student, his feelings about Duke Ellington and more.
As a fan of jazz, I lean more towards the beauty of the jazz piano, but I was impressed by the amazing performances by Clark Terry and his trumpet on this album. That man could really make the trumpet speak, weaving a story through music that exemplifies what jazz is all about. I found myself smiling throughout the first play-through of the Keep On, Keepin' On Soundtrack and I was still smiling when I played through the album again. I can't wait to discuss this album with my neighbor, a huge jazz fan who will no doubt want to take a listen to this album.
Keep On, Keepin' On is a terrific collection of Clark Terry's performances over the years and I can think of quite a few jazz lovers out there who would want to get their hands on this album. And I'm sure that the music and dialogue on this album will inspire them to see the documentary about the performer, the music lover and the teacher, Clark Terry.