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. ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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, ...read more
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 ...read more