Steve Turre speaks, 'My Mother and Me,' Clark Terry's birthday

Ron Scott | 12/14/2011, 5:09 p.m.

He is also the recipient of the 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Only three other trumpeters in history have ever received this prestigious award: Louis Armstrong (Terry's mentor), Gillespie and Miles Davis (who Terry mentored).

Terry has had some health challenges throughout the year. Most recently, he underwent a leg amputation. When told of the news, he turned to his wife, Gwen, and said, "Don't worry. Just because you lose your leg, it doesn't mean you lose your life."

For over six decades, Terry has been an inspiration and innovator in the world of jazz. His passion for music and jazz education and his humor on stage are a constant glow to all who have seen him perform. Now, it's our time to show him support by going online to sign his guestbook or blog. The comments are read to him nightly by his wife.

Terry has appeared on 905 known recording sessions, which makes him the most recorded trumpet player of all time. In comparison, Armstrong performed on 620 sessions, Harry "Sweets" Edison on 563 and Gillespie on 501.

In addition, in this season of giving and celebration of Clark's birthday, one of the great gifts you can give is a tax-deductible donation in his name to the Jazz Foundation of America, which has helped sustain and enrich the lives of so many jazz musicians, including Terry, with ongoing 24-hour health care assistance.