Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Jeff Clayton "Through The Looking Glass"

Since I first heard Jeff Clayton way back in 1985 at the Otter Crest Jazz Weekend, I've considered him a gifted player and a person of the highest integrity and spirituality. On this album, the first under his name in quite a spell, Jeff offers nine selections ranging from funky groove stuff to vibrant, joyous straight ahead compositions, to one or two "tear you apart" ballads. Here and there, the addition of a singer who goes by the name of "Mz Val" adds some luster to the proceedings. She's especially on target with "Guess Who I Saw Today", a tuned owned by Nancy Wilson, but handled with great feeling by this vocalist. Clayton's peerless alto is heard in various musical settings with brother John on bass; nephew Gerald on piano; and other L.A. stalwarts impressively on board here and there. Jeff Clayton is deep into his jazz heritage, and his love for his "job" is infectious. Aside from that, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Claytonomics Music; 2017; appx. 38 min.

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