Jazz musician Clark Terry is a lot less famous than the greats he taught. From Miles Davis to Quincy Jones: many jazz legends were discovered and helped on their way by him. His role as mentor and inspirer is central to this loving portrait of a musician who, even now his body is ailing and he is over 90-year old, still teaches with passionate energy.
Pianist Justin Kauflin, for instance. At the start of the film, the then 23-year-old, blind Kauflin is on the brink of success. Clark gently shows him the way, supports him when possible and encourages him. During long, night-time sessions the two play to their heart’s content even when Terry is confined to a hospital bed. Terry is revived when he works on music.
Debut director Alan Hicks, a jazz drummer, was one of Terry’s students for years. The intimate relationship resulted in a uniquely personal portrait of a musician who lives for his art.