165

Jim Clayton's Greenhouse: Muskoka

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Clayton's ensemble has the same instrumental make-up as several editions of The Yellowjackets, and the first track, "Full Yellow Jacket," incorporates elements of Yellowjackets arranging as well. But the Greenhouse incorporates a wide range of styles in its arrangements and the quartet allows room for each of its members to speak out. Pat Wheeler holds the lead voice, and with her fluid saxophone tone is able to achieve distinct moods for the varied compositions. Leader and pianist Clayton speaks out as well, with solo passages and in various instrumental combinations. Drummer Humphreys maintains a hefty rock beat throughout, and bassist Levesque shows a remarkably lyrical side. On "Lady J.," for example, Levesque and Wheeler team up for a unison electric bass / soprano sax statement of the melody that gently pours out with the phrasing of a natural vocalist. In fact, the bassist gently evokes sounds on "Muskoka" that resemble the singing of an expressive contralto voice.

As "Torn" refers to the inner conflict one faces in choosing to perform (and listen to) contemporary jazz or straight-ahead bebop-derived ventures, Clayton's compositions reflect elements from both, of course, but the emphasis is on a smooth approach. "Kelly's Waltz" is a lullaby, "Somnia" is a dreamy piece, and "Muskoka" evokes the image of a lovely Sunday drive; each of them relies on the stability of a simple, listenable melody played over sustained keyboard drones.

"When Giants Fall" and "Smooth Groovely," however, take a different approach. With a touch of funk, energetic R&B tenor saxophone, and an exciting organ trio, these two selections swing out and allow the Greenhouse members a chance to swing. "Smooth Groovely," in particular, adds the rhythm guitar and provides Wheeler the opportunity to stretch out in a soulful manner. Quality is maintained on every selection of the recording, but the two pieces with organ trio and tenor saxophone provide more improvisation than the smoother sounds of the others. The band has a web site atwww.interlog.com/~jclayton .


Track Listing:

Full Yellow Jacket; Somnia; Lady J.; Muskoka; Torn; When Giants Fall; Kelly's Waltz; Smooth Groovely.

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Breaking Point" CD/LP/Track Review Breaking Point
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "With Due Respect" CD/LP/Track Review With Due Respect
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Routes" CD/LP/Track Review Routes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "The Happiest Man In The World" CD/LP/Track Review The Happiest Man In The World
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "We Are The World" CD/LP/Track Review We Are The World
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "ReNew" CD/LP/Track Review ReNew
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 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!