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by Suzanne Lorge
For the last decade, free-bop vocalist Jay Clayton has been conducting regular scat labs" out of the Manhattan teaching space that she shares with NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan. In ScatLab, jazz singers of all levels of experience meet up to trade twos and fours, riff on traditional blues heads, and improvise on well-known songbook tunes. The purpose here is to practice spontaneous composition in a safe space, away from the microphone and the audience. So if a singer trips ...read more
by Raul d'Gama Rose
There are just a handful of women vocalists alive today who continue to inhabit the rarefied space of imaginative storytellers while continuing to be unbridled innovators. Abbey Lincoln, Sheila Jordan, Norma Winstone, Cassandra Wilson, and, of course, Jay Clayton are amongst the few continuing to enthrall audiences worldwide. Despite numerous examples of their fine sense of the art of weaving endless adventures in song, the true measure of their craft is often in their reenacting of classic songs, much as ...read more
by Florence Wetzel
Innovative singer Jay Clayton has forged a career out of taking chances and exploring the possibilities inherent in the human voice. The Peace of Wild Things is a subtly adventurous mix of voice, electronics and poetry. Each of the nine songs features a poem; five are by the renowned poet E.E. Cummings, with others by jazz innovator Jeanne Lee, the farmer-poet Wendell Berry, Lara Pellegrinelli and Clayton herself. What's so fresh about this CD is the spare ...read more
by Suzanne Lorge
Jay Clayton's career as a singer defies easy classification. True, she most often sings jazz, but she's also collaborated with two of the most prominent modern composers of art music--Steve Reich and John Cage. Even when it comes to jazz, her palette is nothing if not diverse; she is as comfortable with free improvisation and electronic music as with standards. After performing for more than two decades in New York, Clayton moved to Seattle in 1982 to head up a ...read more
by Marcia Hillman
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 ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
From 1985 thru 1995, JMT Productions' modern jazz-based record label released recordings by up and comers such as saxophonists, Steve Coleman, Tim Berne, Greg Osby and drummer, Joey Baron, amid a stellar cast of forward thinking artists. However, Polydor K.K purchased the catalogue in 1995. Thus, all activities ceased as many of these albums and/or CDs were relegated to either pricey import status, or deemed unattainable as the existing inventory diminished. Now, Winter & Winter are remastering these reissues in ...read more
by Dave Nathan
Jay Clayton is a vocal treasure and has been since 1963, when she started a career which has successfully blended two vocal roles, cutting edge avant-garde, where her voice is truly an instrument--an instrument one has heretofore not encountered--and a more conventional, but not completely so, interpreter of major works from the Great American Songbook. On Brooklyn 2000, Clayton samples both her styles. I Wish I Knew" has her as a jazz singer, combining lyrics with straightforward scatting. It's also ...read more