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People Top 5
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- April 16, 1979
- Vol. 11
- No. 15
Clint Strong didn't look as if he knew from blues or dues when he was introduced last year to Paul Guerrero, an ex-drummer with Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet turned head of the percussion department of Dallas' Richland College. "I really didn't want to hear the kid," Guerrero admits, but he surrendered to the pressure of Strong's father, an Arlington, Texas housing official. "Clint suggested All the Things You Are, and we took off. Man, what a surprise! He's terrific." Since then Clint, now 14, has been featured in top Dallas jazz events like tributes to Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker. He has also held his own in combo with ex-Blood, Sweat and Tears arranger-saxophonist Bill Tillman and jazz veterans like clarinetist Buster (One O'clock Jump) Smith and saxophonist Louis Hubert. Five years ago Strong learned the basics of guitar in two weeks and was soon outplaying his instructor. He mastered the lead guitar (versus the easier-to-play rhythm instrument) in only 18 months. Although the eighth-grader has yet to develop his own style, buffs have begun comparing him to the late Wes Montgomery. Weekends, Strong gigs with Guerrero's jazz group when he is not tied up with the Nichols Junior High School marching band. There, he plays sax, "but not," Clint shyly admits, "very well."
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