244

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Shout Me Out!

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: Shout Me Out! 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 tradition, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra has been together in Los Angeles for 14 years. The three leaders - bassist John Clayton, Jr., his brother, saxophonist Jeff Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton - favor creative music with a comfortable rhythm. Bassist Clayton paid his dues for two years with Count Basie and his Orchestra and for five years as principal bassist with the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He performs a beautiful arco bass solo on the title track to open the session and performs Jobim’s "How Insensitive" as a duet with Hamilton to close the session. Clayton also serves as conductor and leaves most of the rhythm section bass work to Christoph Luty. Last year, Clayton was appointed Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and Hollywood Bowl. Concomitantly, the CHJO has become the Bowl’s resident jazz orchestra. In that capacity, they perform with a wide variety of all-star jazz artists, from Diana Krall, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Shirley Horn and Cassandra Wilson, to Scott Hamilton and Clark Terry.

All but three of the selections on Shout Me Out! are originals from the leaders and band members. John Clayton’s "Grizzly" is an experiment in form, as the band with head melody never shows up until after Oscar Brashear, George Bohanon, Bill Cunliffe and bassist Luty have woven their improvised solos. Other pieces include rhythmic stomps and lush ballads that share the solo mic’ liberally. However, except for Charles Owens’ "One for Horace Tapscott," the band doesn’t loosen up. There’s even an opportunity for them to laugh and sing along as veteran trumpeter Snooky Young performs "I Want a Little Girl" with plunger mute and lyrics such as "If she can cook, she’ll suit me to a tee." It comes off well, but the band doesn’t convince. Some of the excitement has dissipated.

Each of the soloists brings a vocal style to the program: Rickey Woodard, Ira Nepus, Clay Jenkins, and particularly Jeff Clayton, who solos on alto saxophone and oboe. Did the Basie band work with vocalists? Some of the best ever, including Joe Williams. The CHJO, an all-star ensemble when it comes to sheer musicianship, may be in need of some special voice to lift them even higher.


Track Listing: Shout Me Out; Max (1999); Plunger Mute Syndrome; Yellow Flowers After; Grizzly; Day by Day; Nice to Meet You; One for Horace Tapscott; Barbara

Personnel: John Clayton, Jr.- bass; Jeff Hamilton- drums; Jeff Clayton- alto saxophone, flute, oboe, piccolo; Keith Fiddmont- alto saxophone, clarinet; Rickey Woodard- tenor saxophone, clarinet; Charles Owens- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet; Lee Callet- baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Bijon Watson, Eugene "Snooky" Young, Oscar Brashear, Clay Jenkins, Bobby Rodriguez- trumpet; Ira Nepus, George Bohanon, Isaac Smith- trombone; Maurice Spears- bass trombone; Bill Cunliffe- piano; Cristoph Luty- bass; Jim Hershman- guitar.

Title: Shout Me Out! | Year Released: 2000


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "The Book of Transfigurations" CD/LP/Track Review The Book of Transfigurations
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!