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Album Review

The second Capri CD from the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is the equal of their first. This hard-swinging L.A. big band plays a full set of bassist John Clayton's colorful arrangements including Benny Carter's "Easy Money," a slower-than-usual "Heart and Soul," "I Be Serious 'Bout Dem Blues" and "Blues Blower's Blues"; the latter features all five of the group's saxophonists (Jeff Clayton, Bill Green, Rickey Woodard, Charlie Owens and Lee Callet) jamming on tenor. Other key soloists include pianist Bill Cunliffe, trombonist George Bohanon and trumpeters Clay Jenkins, Snooky Young and Oscar Brashear. This greatly underrated big band has been one of the finest of the 1990s.


Formed: 1985

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is unusual in that it has three leaders: drummer Jeff Hamilton, altoist Jeff Clayton, and bassist John Clayton. While Hamilton (who has played regularly with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Gene Harris, and the L.A. Four) really drives the band, and Jeff Clayton (whose sound is inspired by Cannonball Adderley) is one of the orchestra's top soloists, it is John Clayton's colorful and unpredictable arrangements that really give this big band its own personality....
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Heart and Soul, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
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