- Jody Grind
- Nature Boy
- Lullaby of the Leaves
- Silver Celebration (Tribute to Horace
- Captain Bill
- Mood Indigo
- Like A Lover
- Eternal triangle
- Squatty Roo
John Clayton – Conductor – Bass
Jeff Clayton – Lead Alto, Soprano, Flute, Alto
Jeff Hamilton – Drums
Keith Fiddmont – Alto, Clarinet
Rickey Woodward – Tenor, Clarinet
Charles Owens – Tenor
Lee Callet – Baritone, Bass Clarinet
Bijon Watson – Lead Trumpet
Sal Cracchiolo – Trumpet
Eugene "Snooky" Williams – Trumpet
Clay Jenkins – Trumpet
Gilbert Castellanos – Trumpet
Ira Nepus – Lead Trombone
George Bohanon – Trombone
Ryan Porter – Trombone
Maurice Spears – Bass Trombone
Tamir Hendelman – Piano
Randy Napoleon – Guitar
Christoph Luty – Bass
Recorded at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild,
Pittsburgh, PA, May 2004.
This fine Big Band run by
John Clayton, Jeff Clayton & Jeff Hamilton
is worthy of investigation so that I can hear
more of them, something I intend to do as
a Christmas Project!
The band plays with great
precision, cohesion and conviction; they obviously
believe in what they are doing and have the
ability to do it well. The ensemble passages
are played beautifully, whether they are in
Basie mode with Captain Bill or Dukal mode
with Mood Indigo, they are equally convincing.
They also have a fine array of soloists, Rickey
Woodward plays a fine solo version of Georgia
and George Bohanan’s trombone solo on Lullaby
of the Leaves is very convincing. The piano
playing of Tamir Hendleman is outstanding
throughout. Captain Bill has some lovely melodic
tenor from Charles Owens, how nice to hear
someone who isn’t trying to sound like John
Coltrane; he is also featured on Mood Indigo
to good effect. The latter has a fine passage
from the two bass players and a fine trombone
solo from Ira Nepus.
The arrangements from John
Clayton are always interesting and incorporate
many different ensemble sounds, without trying
to be clever for the sake of it. Having said
that, I don’t think I would like to have to
sight read many of them!
Like a Lover, features Snookie
Young, who was one of the great cornermen
of the Basie band and Jeff Clayton on Soprano.
Jeff Hamilton’s drumming on this track is
superb, as it is on the rest of the album.
He is an amazing musician who seems comfortable
in any setting, backing vocalists, small group
jazz and a s he is here, with a big band.
Eternal Triangle is a bebop
composition from the late Sonny Stitt, which
features all of the saxes. Another saxophone
giant Johnny Hodges wrote the last composition
Squatty Roo, a terrific arrangements with
some great solos.
The Clayton - Hamilton Jazz
orchestra is a first class big band and a
worthy successor to the great big bands of
the past, this was my first exposure to them,
but it will not be my last.