5

Buck Clayton Legacy Band: Claytonia

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Buck Clayton Legacy Band: Claytonia Buck Clayton, an acclaimed trumpet soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra in the late 1930s and early '40s, had lip surgery in 1969 that all but ended his playing career. After setting the trumpet aside for good in 1979, he turned full-time to composing and arranging, and the Buck Clayton Big Band made its debut in 1986 at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The year before, he had become friends with British bassist Alyn Shipton who offered words of advice about Clayton's autobiography. After Clayton passed away in 1991 at age ninety, his co-author, Nancy Miller Elliott, handed Shipton a box of Clayton's music with a message from Buck: "You kept my memory alive with the book, maybe you can do the same with my music?"

It was a request that Shipton couldn't turn down, and in 2004 he and German-born tenor saxophonist Matthias Seuffert—who had meticulously arranged Clayton's music from a variety of lead sheets, scores and other parts—launched the Buck Clayton Legacy Band at Switzerland's Ascona Jazz Festival. The nonet continues to perform as often as possible, and Claytonia was recorded during its first British tour in the spring of 2011. Even though Clayton is no longer with us, his spirit is alive and well, thanks to Seuffert's refulgent charts and stout-hearted blowing by everyone in the ensemble.

Clayton's music is for the most part straight from the Swing Era, and the Legacy Band plays it as written, checking any movement toward its more contemporary impulses in deference to the maestro's purpose. In other words, this is a swing band in every sense of the word, giving Clayton's music its due in a series of animated themes whose swagger and buoyancy are all but contagious. Seuffert, whose craggy tenor harkens back to the days of Herschel Evans, Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet and Georgie Auld, leads a superior front line that includes trumpeters Menno Daams and Ian Smith, trombonist Adrian Fry and alto saxophonist / clarinetist Alan Barnes. Meanwhile, Shipton, pianist Martin Litton, guitarist Martin Wheatley and drummer Norman Emberson keep the rhythmic flames aglow.

Shipton has kept his word, preserving Buck Clayton's legacy in the best way possible—by presenting his music to a new generation of listeners whose acceptance and pleasure would no doubt have made Clayton a happy man indeed.


Track Listing: Outer Drive; I’ll Make Believe; Party Time; Horn of Plenty; Scorpio; Claytonia; Smoothie; Sir Humphrey.

Personnel: Matthias Seuffert: tenor sax, clarinet, co-leader; Alyn Shipton: bass, co-leader; Menno Daams: trumpet; Ian Smith: trumpet; Alan Barnes: alto sax, clarinet; Adrian Fry: trombone; Martin Litton: piano; Martin Wheatley: guitar; Norman Emberson: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Bclb (buck Clayton Legacy Band) | Style: Big Band


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Canto América" CD/LP/Track Review Canto América
by James Nadal
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "The Only Way To Float Free" CD/LP/Track Review The Only Way To Float Free
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Wild About You" CD/LP/Track Review Wild About You
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "The Scrambling Ex" CD/LP/Track Review The Scrambling Ex
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!