Jim Clayton's Greenhouse: Muskoka
As "Torn" refers to the inner conflict one faces in choosing to perform (and listen to) contemporary jazz or straight-ahead bebop-derived ventures, Clayton's compositions reflect elements from both, of course, but the emphasis is on a smooth approach. "Kelly's Waltz" is a lullaby, "Somnia" is a dreamy piece, and "Muskoka" evokes the image of a lovely Sunday drive; each of them relies on the stability of a simple, listenable melody played over sustained keyboard drones.
"When Giants Fall" and "Smooth Groovely," however, take a different approach. With a touch of funk, energetic R&B tenor saxophone, and an exciting organ trio, these two selections swing out and allow the Greenhouse members a chance to swing. "Smooth Groovely," in particular, adds the rhythm guitar and provides Wheeler the opportunity to stretch out in a soulful manner. Quality is maintained on every selection of the recording, but the two pieces with organ trio and tenor saxophone provide more improvisation than the smoother sounds of the others. The band has a web site atwww.interlog.com/~jclayton .
Full Yellow Jacket; Somnia; Lady J.; Muskoka; Torn; When Giants Fall; Kelly's Waltz; Smooth Groovely.