(Jeff Clayton, alto sax; John Clayton, bass & vocal on tr. 6; Terell Stafford, trumpet & Flugelhorn; Gerald Clayton, piano; Obed Calvaire, drums)
Jeff and John have been working together in the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and elsewhere in small groups for 30 years, and John’s son Gerald has lately joined them. The brothers also consider their drummer Obed as their “adopted” son. This fun project allows the Clayton’s to play together exploring their takes on some of the great music of the past from other brothers combos – namely the Adderleys, the Breckers, the Heath Brothers, the Montgomerys, as well as sounds like those of John Coltrane.
The influence of Cannonball Adderly is strong on many of the eight tracks. John is one of the great bassist in the business, and in Bass Face he pays tribute to his “mentor and father figure” Ray Brown. In the next track, Walking Bass, he not only walks his bass like mad but delivers us a talking blues vocal on top of it. That tune was composed by yet another bassist – Keter Betts. The tune Still More Work was inspired by Nat Adderley’s Work Song – it’s an energetic call-and-response number. The Jones Brothers comes from another brothers combo and uses a Thad Jones-like approach. This is friendly and easy-going jazz that is not out to impress or break any molds – just to emphasize the family aspect of jazz.
TrackList: Wild Man, Still More Work, Jive Samba, Big Daddy Adderleys, Bass Face, Walking Bass, Where Is Love?, The Jones Brothers
– John Henry