Innovative singer Jay Clayton has forged a career out of taking chances and exploring the possibilities inherent in the human voice. The Peace of Wild Things is a subtly adventurous mix of voice, electronics and poetry. Each of the nine songs features a poem; five are by the renowned poet E.E. Cummings, with others by jazz innovator Jeanne Lee, the farmer-poet Wendell Berry, Lara Pellegrinelli and Clayton herself.
What's so fresh about this CD is the spare and spacious approach Clayton and her co-producer Jay Anderson have taken; they use electronic effects in a judicious fashion that lets Clayton's gifts breathe and allows the poetry to be heard. A good example is "Love is a Place," which features one of Cummings' poems. Clearly Clayton is inspired by Cummings; she echoes his elliptical, joyful poetry in her airy arrangements and playful delivery. Through the use of innovative mixing, Clayton sings and speaks over a percussive background that consists of her own voice. Different melodic and percussive lines emerge throughout the song and these are gradually layered over one another as the song progresses. Yet even with the layering of sound, the song remains spacious with a gentle, lilting quality both understated and vibrant.
Another wonderful song is "No Words, Only a Feeling," written by the late, great Lee. In this gently funky piece, Clayton's natural voice plays against an electronically enhanced version and a minimalist approach creates a bouncy lightness, a veritable souffléé of sound.
The CD's title comes from Berry's poem, a gentle meditation on finding peace within nature. The Peace of Wild Things does indeed exude peace and its gentle exuberance and sense of celebration make it a welcome offering in Clayton's long and illustrious career.
Free Me; Why Because; Sometime; Let It Go; Love Is A Place; Sheila's Dream; Secrets Of Living; The Peace Of Wild Things; No Words, Only A Feeling.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.