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Cookin' At the Continental

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Album Review

Tenor saxophonist James Clay had a brief comeback starting in 1988 before he passed away in 1995. This is one of his final recordings. Most interesting is a duet with bassist Christian McBride on "Crazeology." There are also four quartet numbers (with McBride, pianist Kirk Lightsey, and drummer Winard Harper) and four selections that are reunions with fellow tenor David "Fathead" Newman (including a remake of "Wide Open Spaces"). Two of the numbers with Newman ("Sister Sadie" and "Moanin'") also feature trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Although Clay's playing is not flawless (Newman sounds more consistent), plenty of sparks fly and this is a frequently exciting set, well worth searching for.


Born: September 8, 1935 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Up until 2004, the main James Clay on recordings was a jazz saxophonist. A self-titled set of songs on the Inpop label by a 22-year-old former member of what has been described as a "controlling religious cult" changed all that. Clay says quite interesting things about spirituality in interviews, recalling how religious teachings were basically used to torture him as a child. Nonetheless, he felt compelled to turn to these very teachings for answers in a later, more serene part of his life. Clay...
Full Bio
Cookin' At the Continental, James Clay
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Jan 01, 1992

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