All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
This reissue of All Out, Jay Clayton's 1980 debut, is a well-done exercise in the voice as instrument. Clayton occupies her own niche, exploring a freestyle, improvisational approach to vocals. She collaborates with Jane Ira Bloom (soprano and alto sax), Larry Karush (piano), Harvie S (bass), Frank Clayton (drums) and Bill Buchen (kalimba), as well as vocalists Shelley Hirsch, Becca Armstrong and Sally Swisher.
The first track, "Badadadat, written by Karush, is a playful dialogue between Clayton and Bloom which continues into "Random Mondays, an almost bluesy affair which features Clayton's voice and Bloom's sax trading over a bass figure. Ornette's "Lonely Woman, the only piece with words, provides an interesting contrast with its voice/drums duet.
Another contrast comes with "7/8 Thing," a Clayton original with a Far East feel enhanced by the addition of three voices, water drum and kalimba; Harvie S also provides solo bass work. "Fragments is exactly that: a collection of short statements by Clayton and the group. The fast-paced closer, "All Out, was written for Clayton by Heiner Stadler and allows her to interact fully with the other instruments.
Jay Clayton has a wide vocal range and is able to express herself well with her improvisational style. She is also able to work with other instruments in a cohesive group effort to create something unusual and interesting. This record is not for everyone, but if you're curious about what the voice can do, then have a listen.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.