Life Forum

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Pianist Gerald Clayton's third studio album, 2013's Life Forum, follows up his acclaimed 2011 release, Bond: The Paris Sessions. Whereas last time Clayton focused primarily on a trio sound, on Life Forum he expands his musical palette by arranging for a larger ensemble. Joining Clayton here are a handful of like minded musicians including trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonists Logan Richardson and Dayna Stephens, vocalists Gretchen Parlato and Sachal Vasandani, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Justin Brown. All of these musicians have made their mark playing adventurous, forward-thinking jazz that, while not necessarily pop-oriented, exists well beyond the traditional ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Pianist Gerald Clayton's third studio album, 2013's Life Forum, follows up his acclaimed 2011 release, Bond: The Paris Sessions. Whereas last time Clayton focused primarily on a trio sound, on Life Forum he expands his musical palette by arranging for a larger ensemble. Joining Clayton here are a handful of like minded musicians including trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonists Logan Richardson and Dayna Stephens, vocalists Gretchen Parlato and Sachal Vasandani, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Justin Brown. All of these musicians have made their mark playing adventurous, forward-thinking jazz that, while not necessarily pop-oriented, exists well beyond the traditional standards-oriented approach of most straight-ahead jazz. In keeping with this genre-defying approach, Clayton pushes the boundaries of modern jazz on Life Forum, exploring ever more expansive ways to play improvised music. This includes everything from a spoken word piece with writer Carl Hancock Rux set against a ruminative and layered harmonic arrangement, to a deceptively simple sounding instrumental compositions that walk the line between exploratory modal jazz, soulful contemporary R&B, and sprawling yet melodic folk music. Clayton even delves into several cinematic, introspective songs that include lyric-less vocal passages featuring Parlato's haunting vocal lines. Although the album works as a showcase for Clayton's larger group aesthetic -- there are plenty of stand-out improvisational moments from each musician here -- it is still Clayton, with his deft, nuanced piano chops, extensive, motivic improvisation, and broad, evocative compositional skills who stays in the spotlight.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/2/2013
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 888072337701
  • Catalog Number: 33770
  • Sales rank: 50,278

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 A Life Forum (2:52)
  2. 2 Future Reflection (4:52)
  3. 3 Shadamanthem (6:37)
  4. 4 Sir Third (4:18)
  5. 5 Deep Dry Ocean (5:27)
  6. 6 Dusk Baby (5:39)
  7. 7 Mao Nas Massa (4:47)
  8. 8 Prelude (0:59)
  9. 9 Some Always (5:37)
  10. 10 Like Water (5:16)
  11. 11 Unhidden (3:57)
  12. 12 When an Angel Sheds a Feather (9:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gerald Clayton Primary Artist, Organ, Piano, Vocals, fender rhodes
Gretchen Parlato Vocals
Carl Hancock Rux Spoken Word
Sachal Vasandani Vocals
Dayna Stephens Tenor Saxophone
Joe Sanders Bass
Logan Richardson Alto Saxophone
Ambrose Akinmusire Trumpet
Justine Brown Drums
Technical Credits
Chris Dunn Executive Producer
Paul Blakemore Mastering
Carl Hancock Rux Composer
Sachal Vasandani Composer
Gerald Clayton Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
Ted Tuthill Engineer
Ben Wendel Producer
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