A superlative jazz collective of a higher calling.
The Clayton Brothers need no introduction. Jeff Clayton may be best described as Cannonball Adderley first blood part two. John Clayton is a pure technician with the lyrical swing that comes from a place far deeper than the soul.
Now, round out the assembled band with two of the hottest tickets in jazz today being the young Gerald Clayton on piano and the hard swinging Obed Calvaire on drums. Are we done? Not even close! Arguably the finest trumpet player on the scene today in Terell Stafford on trumpet & flugelhorn. Toss in special guests Wycliffe Gordon on trombone and Stefon Harris on vibes and you have an all star line up that is creating or perhaps recreating the Clayton Brothers sound for future generations. While staying true to the hard charging hard bop sound, the Clayton's are looking at the harmonic possibilities offered when the line up is tweaked ever so slightly and the results are amazing!
The Gathering drops on November 6th, 2012 and is a brilliant harmonic exploratory of hard bop, ballads and blues all with the funk infusion of flavor the Clayton Brothers are famous for. Special guests Gordon and Harris were specifically chosen for this session for their proven ability to being a slightly edgy yet blues based sound in an effort to push the Clayton Brothers music forward even further. There is a celebratory feel to this release as is evident in two appropriately named new compositions "Friday Struttin" from John and "This Ain't Nothing But A Party" from Jeff Clayton. These two particular tunes are simply based on having fun. A sonic soul party where the musicians simply grip it and rip and these new tunes were specifically written with Gordon and Harris in mind. John airy almost ambient "Touch The Fog' was written with the intent of pairing Jeff's alto flute with Harris' supernal vibe playing. Jeff contributed the beautiful ballad "Simple Pleasures" as a vehicle for Harris and young Gerald Clayton to showcase their ability to express a more tender side while always staying true to the intent of the sound. Trombonist Gordon is showcased on a blues aptly titled "Blues Gathering." The three Clayton's make a formidable trio on the lyrically charged arrangement of the Billie Holiday classic "Don't Explain."
Everyone is on point throughout this release and this is a recording that could make a serious run for album of the year for 2012. As close to perfect as one can get. Swing hard or go home!
Tracks: Friday Struttin'; Tsunami; Touch The Fog; This Ain't Nothing But A Party; Stefon Fetchin' It; Don't Explain; Coupe de Cone; Somealways; Souvenir; Blues Gathering; Simple Pleasures; The Happiest Of Times.
Personnel: Jeff Clayton: alto saxophone & alto flute; John Clayton: bass; Terell Stafford: trumpet & flugelhorn; Gerald Clayton: piano; Obed Calvaire: drums.
Special Guests: Wycliffe Gordon: trombone; Stefon Harris; vibes.