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Life Forum

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iTunes Review

Pianist Gerald Clayton’s third solo album, Life Forum, finds an artist continuing to stretch out. On 2011’s Bond: The Paris Sessions, Clayton led a trio (bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown) through a set of covers and originals. Here he fronts a larger band that includes Sanders and Brown, and Clayton composes all of the music. The opener, “A Life Forum,” features writer Carl Hancock Rux intoning a poem as he’s backed by slowly moving horns and wordless vocals from Gretchen Parlato. During one stretch of “Future Reflection,” the horns and vocals drop out, and Clayton, Sanders, and Brown show just how good of a trio they are. “Some Always” brings to mind Miles Davis circa In a Silent Way: check out the subtle organ. “Like Water,” with a fine alto sax solo by Logan Richardson, hints at classical music. One of the best tracks is “When an Angel Sheds a Feather,” which has lyrics by singer Sachal Vasandani. Parlato and Vasandani’s vocals wrap themselves around each other in gorgeous and sensuous ways.

Customer Reviews

Life Forum is the groove

Looking through a high school yearbook is an act of remembrance. An opportunity to reflect on funny haircuts and the size of shirt collars, a yearbook preserves difference and change through time.

For jazz music, the measurement of difference is the groove. After acquiring enough technical proficiency the major voices of each generation set out in search of the groove. It is their job to design the space and character of the groove. Like photos in a high school yearbook the groove is memorialized as being the sound of an era.

Gerald Clayton through his daring piano work has not only distinguished himself as one of the dominant voices of this generation, though this recording he has assured his place in the yearbook of Jazz music.

To be sure, Life Forum is a statement record. From this recording, styles will be emulated, grooves will be duplicated. With its own defined voice for others will draw inspiration Life Forum is tree which will bear fruit for It has a


Born: May 11, 1984 in Utrecht, Netherlands

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Jazz pianist Gerald Clayton is an adept improviser and composer with a bent toward post-bop and straight-ahead jazz. The son of bassist/bandleader John Clayton, Gerald was born in the Netherlands but grew up in California. Interested in music from a young age, Clayton began studying piano at age seven and eventually graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, after which he earned a music degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. In 2006, Clayton took second place in the prestigious...
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Life Forum, Gerald Clayton
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2013

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