Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jim Clayton Songs My Daughter Knows Clay-Tone Records 2014

Canadian pianist Jim Clayton travels to the Big Easy for his ingenious new release Songs My Daughter Knows.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Conceptual releases are on occasion epic train wrecks if the artist is not fully invested in the idea and of course if the band doesn't buy what your selling then failure is a given. Jim Clayton goes back to New Orleans for somewhat of a semi-autobiographical musical depiction of just where the ear of his young daughter her first year.
Sesame Street classics including "Rainbow Connection" are given jazz infused lyrical makeovers with an all star cast including Peter Harris on acoustic bass, Jason Marsalis on drums, and Bill Summers on percussion. Marlon Jordan makes a couple of cameo appearance on trumpet on "Inside Straight" and "Autumn Leaves." A jazz release for children? No...but it can be. Here we have simply yet catchy melodies that cut across an age specific demographic and instead highlight the pure joy that comes with making music. There are some well chosen standards here including "Tea for Two" which is the yin to the yang of "Grouch Anthem" made famous in the 1985 film, Follow That Bird.
Jim Clayton's musical direction with Songs My Daughter Knows would seem to emphasize that swing is where you find it. Clayton and his formidable 4tet bring melody back from the jazz witness protection program and the result of a throwback release for the next generation!
4 Stars!
Tracks: Grouch Anthem; Tea For Two; Inside Straight; The West Wing; Main Title; Flight Of The Foo Birds; I Have A Little Plant; Autumn Leaves; Little Leo; Sing; The Rainbow Connection.
Special thanks to Michael Bloom at Michael Bloom Media Relations