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JAY CLAYTON 


MADE IN USA 



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from left: Sascha von Oertzen, Anthony Cox, 
George Cables, Jay Clayton, Gary Bartz, and 
Jerry Granelli 


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MADE IN USA 


Sunnyside 


SSC 1096D 



5:35 McCoy Tyner & Sammy Cahn 


ZIMIJIII 


12:55 Don Thompson 


i 5:43 Albeit Hague & Arnold Horwitt 


1/7:15 Jerry Granelli / Jay Clayton & e. e. cummings 


5:55 George Cables & Janice Jarrett 


IHTUI 


I 5:23 Bill Engvick & Alec Wilder 


6:29 Harry Warren & Mack Gordon 


!■ Mill IMIS 


11:13 Clayton, Cox & Granelli / Jay Clayton & e. e. cummings 



SSC 1096D 







*ay Clayton has been singing in her gently playful, exploratory 7 way for a long time, but it does¬ 
n’t seem so very long. I heard her first scatting blithely on an album with sister explorer jane 
mm and they knocked my ears into Thursday morning. That was 1981. and it really seems like 
r j green covered album, emphatically entitled All Out , on the tiny green-labelled Anima 
hm\ green ;t< grass and spring shoots to these ears, a feast of scallions and spinach and bibb 
'em the desert. It still does, and they still do. Jay sings, as Jane plays, with the eternally fresh verve 


those that Coltrane made famous - Jay and the band make obeisance in the best way possible: blowing from the soul. 
Jay and Gary sing the melody in unaccompanied unison, then weave their lines on the coda. The band does it again 
with a sassier eastward bent on the final track, where Jay and Gary 7 again achieve sinuous interplay. 

Young and Foolish is a touchstone for those wistfully missing their lost youth, a plaint for those who have forgot¬ 
ten how to fall in love easily and well. Jay's duo with George contrasts intriguingly to Tony Bennett's with Bill Evans. 

Improvisation plays the major role in Jay's musical expression. On Raga and Let It Go, she scats with abandon, 
using for lyrics those of an American poet whose celebration of giddy youth and yet uncompromising principles also set 
many impressionable youths (including me) aflutter: e.e. cummings. 


S it hard to figure out jay's secret: the opening buoyant waltz tells you that simplicity 7 and joy 
Irmusic. Jay sings a gentle, seldom-heard love song, as simple as can be, with few note sub- 
pi disarming candor and just a tentative bit of flight through the coda. That very 7 attitude 
fountain of youth, one which fosters easy, dear, and essentially upbeat communication with 
pgjjsicians, In fact, the blues-drenched non-blues that follows provides Jay’s only emotion- 
Jgjned role on the entire album, one effectively echoed by Gary's weary plaint, 
on f tctober 28, 1941 in Youngstown, Ohio, jay started singing in New York in 1963. Since 
I performed and recorded worldwide with leading jazz and new music artists including 
IjjMuhal Richard Abrams, John Gage, Julian Priester, Jane Ira Bloom, Nana Vasconcelos, 
S^l^dowell and Bobby McFerrin. Today Jay is based In Seattle, Washington, where she teaches at 
Cbtth College. She also teaches as guest professor in the jazz department at The University for Music 
jgsd I iu\ ic Arts in Graz. Austria, in rotation with Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, and Andy Bey. Jay's 
k Slug Your Story: I Practical (unite /or Learning and teaching the "Art of Jazz Singing" has 
BR^-j)een published by Hans Gruber's Advance Music. You listeners are invited to visit Jay's web- 
ilk site at www jayclayton.com. 

Hk Coltrane means the world to many musicians. Toronto pianist/composer Don 
Thompson's Lament continues the remembrances with devotion and reverence. Jay states 
■IHk the simple hymnic song with great wannth and directness. Over a modal vamp - like 


let all go—the 
big small middling 
tall bigger really the 
biggest and all things- 
let all go, dear 

so comes love. 


let them go 
the truthful liars and 
the false fair friends 
and the boths and neithers- 
you must let them go 
they were born to go. 


let it go 

the smashed word brokm 
open vow or the oath 
cracked lengthwise 
let it go, it was sworn to go 


To open George's bright samba, I Told You So, Jay expresses joy squeaking playfully like a Brazilian cuica, then 
transforms her voice into a flute section with a Boomerang digital delay - not overdubs. "There's more to life than a 
tiny breeze [?] can hold." Amen! The lyric is a child’s taunting, sing-song response to an adult's denial of a subtly per¬ 
ceived truth; Amahl, Giancarlo Menotti's shepherd boy, might have sung it today to his Mom, who thrice denied his 
improbable vision of the Magi at their door. Jerry's cowbell, Anthony's loping gait, and George's montuno wisps add to 
the delight. 

An unjustly neglected old Hany Warren favorite, l Wish / Knew, gets a tender-tough reading. Jay says: "I recently put 
this tune in my book, and only just discovered the verse in the sheet music, provided by my always inspiring friend, com¬ 
poser Jerome Gray.” At Grey’s suggestion, Jay places the verse not at the front, but in the middle of her reading, after an 
earnest scat chorus. She reminds me of the late Betty Carter on her round tones, off-beat inflections, intense candor, and 


scat-wise derring-do. 

To close, Jay harks back to that All Out set as she launches into Free Three . Jay taps e.e. once again on the out¬ 
going Random Mondays with a touching setting of these delightful lines that, for love of life, turn syntax and word 
use on their heads. Once again she takes the final stanza and spins a coda of curlicues, queries, and unicorns. 

in time of daffodils who know in time of dll sweet things 

the goal of lining is to grow beyond whatever mind may comprehend 

forgetting why, remember how remember seek, forgetting find 

in time of lilacs who proclaim and in a mystery to be 

the aim of waking is to dream when time from time shall set us free 

remember so, forgetting seem forgetting me, remember me 

in time of roses who amaze a re 
here and now with paradise 
forgetting if remember yes 

Jay's comments on the session read like a little a family reunion. "These guys had not played in this particular 
configuration before, though I knew the rapport would be there. We had good vibes all around. I'd never worked with 
Gary Bartz; though I love his music, our paths had not yet crossed. George and I have known each other 30 years, yet 
never get to gig; I knew George and Gary worked/recorded together recently. Jerry and I have enjoyed over 20 years of 
collaboration, and I knew that George knew him from California. In 1998, Jerry and I made a quartet album, No 
Secrets , with bassist Gary Peacock and trombonist Julian Priester. Last summer we reunited that quartet with Anthony 
on bass. For this session, I brought in tunes from all over - eclectic, that's me! - and the guys played in both worlds, 
free and straight. I like to collaborate with musicians who play who they are: I'm a kind of catalyst. We did the free 
pieces in single takes and the standards in two." 

Fred Bouchard 
Monday, March 12, 2001 


Fred Bouchard writes about jazz for Down Beat magazine and hosts "Crosscurrents" (WMBR-FM, 88.1 kHz, MIT Radio, Cambridge, MA.) 
He too has an eponymous website: www.fredbouchard.com.