Tonight (Clark Terry-Bob Brookmeyer Quintet album)

Tonight (also released as Straight No Chaser) is an album by the Clark Terry-Bob Brookmeyer Quintet, featuring Brookmeyer on trombone and Terry on trumpet and flugelhorn. With tracks recorded in 1964, the album was released on the Mainstream label the following year.[1][2]

Studio album by
RecordedNovember 23 & 24, 1964
in New York City
ProducerBob Shad
Clark Terry chronology
Live 1964
The Power of Positive Swinging
Bob Brookmeyer chronology
Bob Brookmeyer and Friends
The Power of Positive Swinging
Audio sample
"Hum" by Bob Brookmeyer.
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The Clark Terry - Bob Brookmeyer Quintet had formed in 1961 at the request of Frank Cantarina, the owner of the Half Note Club in New York City. The original group, consisting of Terry and Brookmeyer with Joe Benjamin (bass), Osie Johnson (drums) and Eddie Costa (piano), had recorded, for another label, a live session at the club. But the recording had to be abandoned because of the "horrible intonation of the piano". Brookmeyer had made the first advances to Terry, but Terry was under network contract and could only take outside engagements as a band leader - hence the name of the quintet and the name of the album. The band were featured several times "with unanimous acceptance" on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.[3]


Writing the liner notes for the original 1965 album, Peter Spargo writes: ".. the blend between Terry's horn and Brookmeyer's valve trombone is warm and original". He refers to the "brilliant piano work" of Kellaway and describes drummer Bailey's performance as having "impeccable taste and controlled nuances." Of the bass playing of Bill Crow, Spargo says "his lines are clear and interesting, the pitch crisp and audible and he gives the entire group a solid foundation."[3]

Of the album overall, Spargo says:

With such a brilliant rhythm section it is obvious that Clark and Bob feel relaxed and are allowed complete independence. It is also apparent from their ensemble duets that they are in complete control and know exactly what they want. Their individual solos are always intelligent and meaningful. So as Clark apologized for having kept you waiting, it is safe to that this album was worth waiting for.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores

Awarding the album 3 stars, AllMusic's Scott Yanow stated: "Flugelhornist Clark Terry and valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer made for a very complementary pair in their mid-'60s quintet. Both had distinctive but similar sounds, impressive technique, the ability to swing anything and plenty of wit... Unfortunately, all ten selections clock in at around three minutes, so there is no real stretching out, but what is here is excellent".[4]

Track listing

  1. "Tete a Tete" (Clark Terry) - 3:02
  2. "Pretty Girl" (Bob Brookmeyer) - 3:00
  3. "Blue China" (Brookmeyer) - 2:59
  4. "Hum" (Brookmeyer) - 3:40
  5. "Blindman, Blindman" (Herbie Hancock) - 2:29
  6. "Step Right Up" (Roger Kellaway) - 2:57
  7. "Weep" (Gary McFarland) - 2:55
  8. "Straight No Chaser" (Thelonious Monk) - 2:49
  9. "Sometime Ago" (Sergio Mihanovich) - 3:02
  10. "Hymn" (Charlie Parker) - 2:42

  • all tracks Terry (trumpet), except 4 and 5 Terry (flugelhorn)

Issues and formats

The album was originally issued by Mainstream, in mono format, as M56043. It was also issued by Mainstream, in stereo format, as S/6043. It was also issued as Mainstream MSTD102 under the title What’d he say?. It was later issued, in CD format, as Mainstream MDCD728, entitled Clark Terry/Bobby Brookmeyer Quintet.[2]

The album was issued in the UK in 1965, by Fontana, with the title Tonight (TL 5265). It was also issued by Mainstream with the title Straight No Chaser (MRL-320).[5]

The same track listing was also released, in CD format, by Lonehill Jazz, as LHJ10199, entitled Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer Quintet - Complete Studio Recordings and on Mainstream MRL320 in Japan as ECPL-125MS.[2]

A single from the album, "Blindman, Blindman" (b/w "Straight No Chaser"), was also issued by Mainstream.[6]




  • Bob Shad - artists and repertoire
  • Bob Arnold - recording engineer
  • Hal Diepold - mastering
  • Peter Spargo - liner notes
  • Harry Ringler - production coordinator
  • Elena Festa - album coordination
  • Jack Lonshein - cover art and design
  • The Composing Rooms Inc - typography
  • Global Albums Inc - printing and fabrication
  • Burt Andrews - liner photographs


  1. Edwards, D., Callahan, Eyries, P., Watts, R. & Neely, T. Discography of the Mainstream Label (Preview), accessed November 10, 2014
  2. Lord, T., Clark Terry discography, accessed November 10, 2014
  3. Peter Spargo, Tonight album liner notes, 1965.
  4. Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed November 10, 2014
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