Rather than face the
crowds to see fireworks on the fourth of July, we opted for an
evening of jazz and fine dining at 91 South, the restaurant which is
part of the Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Inn, located in Gorham,
Maine. Playing Thursday night gigs this summer is the “Unlikely
Trio” – comprised of Maine clarinet and whistling great, Brad
Terry; professional saxophonist and music professor, Barry Saunders,
also on clarinet; and the young and gifted Peter Herman, on guitar.
The relaxed and joyful group played jazz at
its finest including standard tunes by composers such as Duke Ellington and Antonio Carlos Jobim. The familiar tunes were replete with wonderful personal improvisation
and interpretation. The entertainment was
of such high quality it almost didn’t seem fair that we were eating
dinner and they were performing. They deserved to be at an expensive
jazz club in New York or Paris, where not a sip nor a bite would
disturb the exceptional feast of music that we were enjoying. Ella
Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme or Peggy Lee, all would have been
proud to do vocals with their accompaniment.
One of the highlights
was the unexpectedly lovely
theme to the movie, “Rosemary’s Baby” by Polish composer, Krzysztof Komeda,. The audience was educated that
jazz music is more than alive and well in Poland. Who knew? Not me.
Brad treated us to his
extraordinary whistling as well, which was as melodic and innovative
as his clarinet playing.
The trio was formed rather
spontaneously when Barry Saunders asked Brad Terry to become his
clarinet teacher. Barry’s ability was so well developed that Brad
suggested that they play as a threesome with guitarist, Peter Herman.
Soon they were making magic. Brad explained with a laugh, “We
span three generations, like grandfather, father and son, but we all love this music equally.”
The sets they played
were innovative, restful, beautiful and harmonious. Peter Herman is
such a humble and excellent guitarist, I hardly know what to say
about him. He should be known – well known – he should
never again have to work a day job in his life unless it has to do
with his guitar playing. He has an excellent sense of sound and
harmonics and improvisation, a light touch, and conveys an intimacy with the guitar that is a treat to behold. Brad mentioned that his playing is so
intricate that it almost seems impossible that the music is coming
from only one guitar. Brad compared him to the late Maine guitarist, Lenny Breau. You can find You Tube videos of Lenny playing duets with Chet Atkins.
An interesting footnote is that Brad
played duets extensively with Lenny in the 1970s and 1980s before
Lenny’s untimely death at the age of forty-three. Their two-CD set called "The Living Room Tapes" was recorded by Brad with a professional tape recorder donated by "Bert and I" creator, Marshall Dodge. The tunes were recorded at various concerts in and around Brunswick, Maine, including at the home of Brad's mother, Lindy Terry. The women laughing in the background on a couple of the cuts are Lindy Terry, and my husband Peter's mother, Polly Kapteyn Brown. Lindy and Polly were lifelong friends.
"The Living Room Tapes"
can be purchased from Brad. The sound quality is excellent and
the music is beautiful.
Call 91 South to book a
reservation for an excellent dinner some Thursday night, and treat
yourself to this once in a lifetime jazz trio at the same time. You can contact the 91 South
Restaurant at the Pinecrest Inn on their Face Book Page: PineCrest Bed and Breakfast Inn and 91 South Restaurant and Wine Bar or visit their website at: PineCrest Bed and Breakfast Inn and search for the restaurant and wine bar under "Eating".
For gigs, email Barry
or call him at 207-653-1083.
Photo by Marty Corey