Buck Clayton Legacy Band: Claytonia (2013)
It was a request that Shipton couldn't turn down, and in 2004 he and German-born tenor saxophonist Matthias Seuffertwho had meticulously arranged Clayton's music from a variety of lead sheets, scores and other partslaunched the Buck Clayton Legacy Band at Switzerland's Ascona Jazz Festival. The nonet continues to perform as often as possible, and Claytonia was recorded during its first British tour in the spring of 2011. Even though Clayton is no longer with us, his spirit is alive and well, thanks to Seuffert's refulgent charts and stout-hearted blowing by everyone in the ensemble.
Clayton's music is for the most part straight from the Swing Era, and the Legacy Band plays it as written, checking any movement toward its more contemporary impulses in deference to the maestro's purpose. In other words, this is a swing band in every sense of the word, giving Clayton's music its due in a series of animated themes whose swagger and buoyancy are all but contagious. Seuffert, whose craggy tenor harkens back to the days of Herschel Evans, Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet and Georgie Auld, leads a superior front line that includes trumpeters Menno Daams and Ian Smith, trombonist Adrian Fry and alto saxophonist / clarinetist Alan Barnes. Meanwhile, Shipton, pianist Martin Litton, guitarist Martin Wheatley and drummer Norman Emberson keep the rhythmic flames aglow.
Shipton has kept his word, preserving Buck Clayton's legacy in the best way possibleby presenting his music to a new generation of listeners whose acceptance and pleasure would no doubt have made Clayton a happy man indeed.
Track Listing: Outer Drive; I’ll Make Believe; Party Time; Horn of Plenty; Scorpio; Claytonia; Smoothie; Sir Humphrey.
Personnel: Matthias Seuffert: tenor sax, clarinet, co-leader; Alyn Shipton: bass, co-leader; Menno Daams: trumpet; Ian Smith: trumpet; Alan Barnes: alto sax, clarinet; Adrian Fry: trombone; Martin Litton: piano; Martin Wheatley: guitar; Norman Emberson: drums.
Record Label: Bclb (buck Clayton Legacy Band)
Style: Big Band