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Gerald Clayton: Two-Shade (2009)

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Gerald Clayton: Two-Shade Gerald Clayton isn't like the average young jazz musician. He was immersed in music studies for a long time (his teachers include Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
b.1943
piano
, Billy Childs
Billy Childs
Billy Childs
b.1957
piano
and Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg

piano
), while gaining experience playing duo piano concerts with Barron, Benny Green
Benny Green
Benny Green
b.1963
piano
and Mulgrew Miller
Mulgrew Miller
Mulgrew Miller
1955 - 2013
piano
and also performing as a sideman with the legendary Clark Terry. If that's not enough, he has recorded more than once with the Clayton Brothers (co-led by father John and uncle Jeff) and contributed as pianist and arranger on vocalist Melissa Morgan
Melissa Morgan
Melissa Morgan

vocalist
's excellent debut CD.

The pianist is only in his mid-20s, though he shows both a tremendous maturity in his approach to his instrument and a wide-range of musical interests on this trio date with bassist Joe Sanders
Joe Sanders
Joe Sanders
b.1896
bass
and drummer Justin Brown. His treatment of Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
1891 - 1964
composer/conductor
's "All of You" incorporates several brief-but-tantalizing musical detours, rather than approaching it in typically straight-ahead fashion. Clayton's lyrical introduction to "Con Alma" is simply masterful.

The remainder of the disc consists of the leader's thoughtful originals. The spry, funky "Boogablues" is full of humor, while the ballad "Peace For the Moment" is a multi-faceted work that resists being pigeonholed into any one style. He does throw in a few surprises, like the brief interludes with electronic voicings simulating wordless vocals in "Casiotone Pothole" and group vocals for a moment in the soulful "Two Heads One Pillow" (though neither of them are mentioned in the CD's credits). "Scrimmage" proves to be an irresistible up-tempo post-bop vehicle that finds the trio at its very best. With Two-Shade, Gerald Clayton reveals himself to be one of the potential jazz greats of his generation.


Track Listing: Boogablues; Trapped In Dream; Two Heads One Pillow; Peace For The Moment; All of You; Interlude-Love All Around; Casiotone Pothole; One Two You; Sunny Day Go; Scrimmage; Interlude-You're Out; Con Alma.

Personnel: Gerald Clayton: piano; Joe Sanders: bass; Justin Brown: drums.

Record Label: ArtistShare

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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