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Jay Clayton: Believing in The Word

By Published: January 23, 2008

AAJ: What else are you working on now and with whom?

JC: Basically I go project to project and there's plenty I'm working on, little by little. I have a recording project based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson with Kirk Nurock that's partially done. I also have a solo recording with electronics called Singing and Saying the Poets—that's just me, myself and I. And I just recorded a new standards CD with Jack Wilkins and Jay Anderson. My next sextet CD is going to be with Gary Thomas and [soprano saxophonist] Jane Ira Bloom and [drummer] Jerry Granelli, and Iâ'm not sure of the other personnel yet. I'll also soon be recording another duo CD with Jerry Granelli. And Iâ'm working with a conductor in Zurich who's making arrangements for me with a trio, a guest horn player and a string chamber orchestra. How cool is that? I'm going to go to Zurich in September and May to work on that. That's a lot of projects and I'm sure I didnâ't mention everything. But I'm serious about all [of them] and so I have to take it just one step at a time.

â"JayAAJ: You've been a singer for more than forty years. What kind of changes have you seen in the jazz world during that time?

JC: Recording is changing and I don't think it's all bad. Making a CD today is way different than it was twenty years ago. Some artists say that everything is changing and that's why they canâ't record, but youâ've got to stay in the little picture. I'm both a little picture and a big picture person, but work is in the little picture. Since I returned I started to understand what's going on with the younger artists—there's a lot of good stuff going on with them. I used to produce concerts in my loft, so while I don't love self-production, I advocate that if there's a music that has to be heard, the artist has to make that happen somehow. That's what's happening with young people and I encourage that.

Selected Discography

Jay Clayton, Brooklyn 2000 (Sunnyside, 2000)

Jay Clayton, Circle Dancing (Sunnyside, 1996)

Jay Clayton/Fred Hersch, Beautiful Love (Sunnyside, 1994)

Quartett, No Secrets (New Albion, 1988)

Jay Clayton/Jerry Granelli, Sounds Songs (JMT/Winter & Winter, 1985)

Jay Clayton, All-Out (Anima, 1980)

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Jay Clayton

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