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“Unlikely Trio” Plays First-Class Jazz

Featuring the music of Brad Terry, Barry Saunders and Peter Herman

Jul 19, 2013

Kimmy Sophia Brown

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 at: bsaundersmusic@gmail.com, or call him at 207-653-1083.

Photo by Marty Corey

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember. She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.


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