215

Jay Clayton: In and Out of Love

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Jay Clayton: In and Out of Love 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 it is for great actors to attempt to play the mythical heroes and heroines of Greek drama, and live the characters created by Shakespeare and Shaw. Jay Clayton does all this and more in her superb In and Out of Love.

An inimitable presence, Clayton's technique is flawless, her intonation as special—from the luscious contralto where every phrase and line begins, to the heights of a near-falsetto that she appears to employ as naturally as a poet like Dylan Thomas might narrate his work—and seemingly effortless as mere mortals taking a breath. And if she is a Goddess, then she can also be fallibly human in love, as she falls prey to the charm of a lover and the song itself in "Falling in Love with Love" and "My One and Only Love." On "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "Sunshower," Clayton is absolutely mesmerizing, as she creates harmonies on the fly, weaving her hypnotic path in and out of scarcely familiar melodies. Her ability to make impossible vocal leaps from a sensuously husky depth to an almost shrieking high is breathtaking. A mere peep into her penchant for bebop, Clayton simply stops the heart and replaces that beat with the rhythm of the song on John Carisi and Ray Passman's "Israel."

There are two other stars on the album: guitarist Jack Wilkins and bassist Jay Anderson. Anderson shows his mastery of melodic invention while remaining absolutely in the pocket on tracks like "Falling in Love with Love" and "I Hear a Rhapsody" where his wresting the melody from Clayton during an ebullient solo is as exquisite as the manner in which he returns it to the singer. Wilkins is one of the most accomplished guitarists around, playing with such angularity as to stay on the edge, as well as, at times, creating fluid lines that seem to flow from a horn rather than a stringed instrument.

This is a quiet album, but sometimes the very quietude of artistry is apt to make a very loud noise, a concept to which Jay Clayton is no stranger with her high art.

Track Listing: Falling in Love with Love; How Deep is the Ocean?; Freedom Jazz Dance; My One and Only Love; Sunshower; For Heaven's Sake; Israel; Never Let Me Go; I Hear a Rhapsody; Lament.

Personnel: Jay Clayton: voice; Jack Wilkins: guitar; Jay Anderson: bass.

Title: In And Out Of Love | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Jay Clayton Events

Date Event Time
Sep19Tue Jay Clayton
Caspe Terrace
Waukee, IA
7:30 pm
$30

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Trandans" CD/LP/Track Review Trandans
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Lea Áigi" CD/LP/Track Review Lea Áigi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 23, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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