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Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: The L.A. Treasures Project

Read "The L.A. Treasures Project" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

The exciting opener of this CD--the high-swinging welcome of “I Love Being Here with You"--foreshadows the next 64 minutes of tight, crackling arrangements that are impeccably rendered and full of joy. The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, (CHJO) founded in 1985, has always been known for its full-hearted, world-class playing. The “L.A Treasures" of this title refers to the soulful veteran vocalists, Barbara Morrison and Ernie Andrews, who get four splendid features apiece, each one gleaming anew in its luscious orchestral setting. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: The L.A. Treasures Project

Read "The L.A. Treasures Project" reviewed by Edward Blanco

For nearly thirty-years now the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO) has been easily recognizable as one of the best big bands in the business. Led by bassist John Clayton, saxophonist and brother Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, the group embarked on a mission to document their various rehearsals with West Coast vocal legends Ernie Andrews and Barbara Morrison, and do so with The L.A. Treasures Project recorded live in the famous Showroom of Alva's Dance Studio and Music Store ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center

Read "Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center" reviewed by Patricia Myers

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Mesa Arts Center Mesa, Arizona March 7, 2014 The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, one of the best big bands in the nation for three decades, swung mightily all night long with strong section work and stylish solos arranged for specific members, per Duke Ellington and Count Basie. A brief post-intermission QA period from triumverate co-leaders bassist John Clayton, saxophonist Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton added personal insights for a full house of ...

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Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Live at MCG

Read "Live at MCG" reviewed by Jim Santella

You can feel the echoes of Woody Herman, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington in every song that the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra interprets. You can feel the cool swing of Henry Mancini and the hard bop syncopation of Horace Silver too. And, of course, you can feel the all-star quality that this big band brings with it everywhere it goes.

Performing live at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh last year, the band gave local audiences a powerful dose ...

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Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Live at MCG

Read "Live at MCG" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

It's not easy to top a live performance by a big band at the Manchester's Craftsman's Guild. The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra continues the tradition of creating some of the grooviest, swinging jazz to hit the CD racks in recent memory. And that says a lot, considering what's out there. With Live at MCG, the band celebrates its 20th year in grand fashion.The group goes old-school on this outing, revisiting compositions by such renowned composers as Hoagy Carmichael, Horace ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Live at MCG

Read "Live at MCG" reviewed by John Kelman

Sometimes a live recording does nothing more than highlight a performance that, while fun to attend, doesn't really bear repeated exposure. On the other hand, some manage to vividly capture the excitement, energy and magic of a show, making their listeners wish they could have been there. Now twenty years old, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra--co-led by bassist/arranger/conductor John Clayton, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton--has been gaining an increasingly strong reputation since its '89 recorded debut, Groove Shop, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Live at MCG

Read "Live at MCG" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For me, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra has been an acquired taste. I was less enamored than others with its first two releases, Groove Shop and Heart and Soul, but since then the orchestra has produced a series of winners (Absolutely!, Explosive!, Shout Me Out) and marks its twentieth anniversary with what is arguably its most impressive album to date, Live at MCG (Manchester Craftsmen's Guild).

One reason for the steady improvement is consistency; several of these gentlemen have been with ...

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Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Shout Me Out

Read "Shout Me Out" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is in the process of exploding on the international consciousness, an “overnight success" after eighteen years. While the CHJO has been hugely popular on the West Coast and Japan, and famously anchored the Hollywood Bowl for three years, it just made its New York debut on April 21 at the Jazz Standard (among the appreciative audience: Benny Golson, Frank Wess, Rufus Reid, and John Pizzarelli). From New York, it was on to the Kennedy Center (with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Shout Me Out!

Read "Shout Me Out!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If there were an award for “most improved big band,” the opinion here is that the C–HJO would win going away, as its two most recent albums ( Explosive!, with vibraphonist Milt Jackson, and now Shout Me Out! ) have moved well beyond its earlier endeavors to prove beyond any doubt that this is one of the most talented and exciting ensembles performing anywhere in the lower forty–eight. Clearly, the primary role model is Basie, and the C–HJO is emphatically ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Shout Me Out!

Read "Shout Me Out!" reviewed by Jim Santella

There’s a kind of instrumental music that is so loud and annoying that it will bring out the earplugs and go right through your chest. And then, there’s another kind of instrumental music that sways like semi-liquid through the room in a never-ending stream of lightweight embellishment. Although these forms of entertainment appeal to a wide audience, both lack substance and both prove to be quite forgettable in the end.

Here’s something much more substantial. Out of the Count Basie ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Shout Me Out

Read "Shout Me Out" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Deservedly rising in public consciousness and critical acclaim from its West Coast cultish following, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO) possesses a quality that distinguishes it from other big bands: an unforced inherent swing. Taking a cue from Basie minimalism combined with a hard drive, CHJO can't help but ooze blues from every beat and every measure. The composition “Shout Me Out" assumes a Hefti-ish heavily accented anticipation of the beat, a la “Li'l Darling." “Plunger Mute Syndrome," once again a ...


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