Jay Clayton & Don Lanphere:  TheJazz Alley Tapes

Jay Clayton & Don Lanphere: TheJazz Alley Tapes

by Jay Clayton
     
 

Documenting a live recording from Seattle's Jazz Alley, this disc brings together the intriguing duo of vocal experimentalist Jay Clayton and Don Lanphere, whose saxophone is grounded in bop. As it turns out, the session is more than intriguing, it is an entertaining 70 minutes of exciting, unadulterated jazz by outstanding performers. Unlike many albums where the…  See more details below

Overview

Documenting a live recording from Seattle's Jazz Alley, this disc brings together the intriguing duo of vocal experimentalist Jay Clayton and Don Lanphere, whose saxophone is grounded in bop. As it turns out, the session is more than intriguing, it is an entertaining 70 minutes of exciting, unadulterated jazz by outstanding performers. Unlike many albums where the singer does a chorus and then the sax player comes for one, with the singer cleaning up, on this set Clayton uses her voice as an instrument playing in unison with Lanphere's saxophone, whether it be the tenor, alto, or soprano. The album legitimately could have been subtitled "Sonatas for Voice and Saxophone," recognizing that there is also a sonata for voice and flute, that being "My Silent Love." Clayton has an extraordinary clear voice which allows you to hear and appreciate her lyrical interpretations; there's no mumbling here. Her pitch is perfect and her phrasing impeccable. Like most good jazz vocalists, she takes risks, but not just for the sake of doing so. They make sense within the context of the music and the arrangements. No song captures the performing philosophy more than the Hammerstein/Romberg operetta classic, "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" This tune is a favorite of many jazz singers, apparently because the chord structure provides plenty of room for improvising. Here Clayton puts her scatting and wordless music technique on display, to excellent effect, working in concert with the rhythm section. Lanphere's tenor and Marc Seales' piano get serious solo time on this cut. "Softly" becomes a tour de force without resorting to frenetic, disquieting loud playing. On "I Remember Clifford," trumpet player Jay Thomas is appropriately awarded the lion's share solo space. Thomas, who has graced the albums of other Seattle-based singers like Katie King, is deserving of wider recognition. Marc Seales' pianism is not his only contribution; his composition "New Stories" becomes a vehicle for Lanphere's soprano sax. Lanphere's own "A.C.," based on the chord changes of Sonny Rollins' "Airegin," provides an appropriate coda for this session. Because this is a live performance without the time and artistic constraints usually associated with a studio recording, most of the tunes go on for more than 6 minutes. This allows Clayton, Lanphere, and their cohorts plenty of time to explore all musical possibilities.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/05/2004
Label:
Hep Records
UPC:
0603366204626
catalogNumber:
2046

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