219

Jay Clayton: Brooklyn 2000

By

Sign in to view read count
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 a track where we become familiar with drums as vocal accompaniment thanks to Jerry Granelli. This track, as much as any, displays the clear-as-a-bell clarity and silky syrup smoothness of Clayton's voice. It is truly a jewel to prize.

She can also take the jazz standard, "You Taught My Heart to Sing", and rhapsodize it into pure melody. It's here where the bass artistry of Anthony Cox is brought to the fore. "The Lady Sings the Blues" has Clayton more in a storytelling mode, poignantly describing events which led to the lady finding herself in that lowdown mood known as the blues.

Then there's the avant-garde flip side of Jay Clayton. Howling kicks off the medley of "Three Free"/"Random Mondays." These sounds could well have been the way our ancestors communicated before language as we know it eventually evolved. This cut also features a conversation in special language between Clayton and Gary Bartz's soprano, as well as in a lingual form with which we are more familiar; real words. There's also an echo technique with Clayton pleading "remember me" and then having it come right back at her—and us. This is free-style jazz singing at its most evocative.

Similar adventures await the listener on "Raga"/"Let It Go," with words by the modernistic poet e. e. cummings. Here, and throughout the album, veteran jazz pianist George Cables applies his virtuosity both as a soloist and the keeper of the musical marketplace where Clayton plies her wares.

Brookyln 2000 is another demanding aural venture by a leader in the school of modern vocalizing and shouldn't be missed by lovers of the genre.


Track Listing: You Taught My Heart to Sing; Lament for John Coltrane; Young and Foolish; Raga/Let It Go; I Told You so; The Lady Sings the Blues; I Wish I Knew; Three Free/Random Mondays.

Personnel: Jay Clayton: vocal; Gary Bartz: alto and soprano sax; George Cables: piano; Anthony Cox: bass; Jerry Granelli: drums.

Title: Brooklyn 2000 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "The Pauper And The Magician" CD/LP/Track Review The Pauper And The Magician
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Back In Your Own Backyard" CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Monk's Cha Cha" CD/LP/Track Review Monk's Cha Cha
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.