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The Buck Clayton Swing Band: Buck Clayton Swings the Village

C. Michael Bailey By

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A bright re-release of Big Band music.


Trumpeter and bandleader Buck Clayton was a mainstay of the '30s and '40s big band. Following that, Clayton led every stripe of band for the next 40 years. In the late 1980s, when age prevented Clayton to play his trumpet, he turned his attention to composition and arrangement for a big band. In 1990, Clayton brought his big band to the Village Vanguard for a recital of his compositions, some written only recently before the show. This music was originally released in 1997 on Nagel Heyer as Buck Clayton Live From Greenwich Village, NYC (Nagel Heyer 030).

As part of their new re-issue program, Nagel Heyer has re-released this recording as Buck Clayton Swings the Village: The Buck Clayton Swing Band in Greenwich Village, NYC. It is 24-bit digitally remastered, providing an already bright recording that much more clarity. The music is fresh and refreshing. It is '30s—'40s Swing, to be sure, but it is composed, arranged and played with very much a 1990s precision. The appeal of this record is that it is not one more recording reprising Ellington, Basie, Goodman, Miller, or any number of bandleaders whose music has been diluted by time and reiteration. Swing presented the contemporary Buck Clayton Songbook. Contemporary talents like Byron Stripling and James Chirillo and veterans like Frank Wess, Warren Vaché and Joe Temperley present Clayton's vision succinctly.

As a group, these songs contain easily all of Swing history. Traditionally white bands and blacks bands meld easily here into a crystal-clear solution of swinging, smiling music. It is no wonder that this recording was considered one of the year's best when released. This disc is a must for all big banders.

Track Listing: Scorpio; Swingin' On The State Line; Horn O' Plenty; Rise And Shine; The One For Me' B.C. Special; Black Sheep Blues; Sparky; A Song For Sarah Cadillac Taxi; What A Beautiful Yesteryear; The Bower Bunch. (Total Time: 72:49).

Personnel: Buck Clayton: conductor; John Eckert, Jordan Sandke, Byron Stripling, Warren Vach

Title: Buck Clayton Swings the Village | Year Released: 2002


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