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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Steelonious" CD/LP/Track Review Steelonious
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!