Review by Richard
In and Out of Love - Jay Clayton (Sunnyside Records) - In her liner notes to this lovely collection of standards, Ms. Clayton acknowledges that she is "primarily known as an avant-garde singer (kind of an out-dated term but it works)...". She states her love for standards and, after listening to these 10 tracks, one should not doubt her her love. Recorded in 2007 around the same time as the more experimental "The Peace of Wild Things" (also on Sunnyside), the singer is joined by guitarist Jack Wilkins and bassist/recording & mixing engineer Jay Anderson. The 2 Jays and Jack inhabit this music, filling the pieces with the joy of melody, interplay, and quiet experimentation. "Freedom Jazz Dance" is a whirl of sound, from the unison guitar and voice reading of the theme to the counterpoint each one brings to the solo section. Tunes such as "How Deep is the Ocean" and "My One and Only Love" that have been recorded and performed innumerable times sound reborn here. On the former song, Anderson and Wilkins swing the piece heartily while Ms. Clayton sounds, at turns, flirtatious then serious. Anderson, who has such a full, rich, tone, is alone with the singer for the first minute of the latter tune and their intimacy with the music and lyrics sets the stage for Wilkins' more stately yet flowing guitar phrases. "Sunshower" (music by Kenny Barron, lyrics by Janice Jarrett) has a lovely Brazilian lilt in the melody and Latin feel in the melody . Listen to the way both the guitarist then the vocalist rise above the bouncing bass lines - Clayton is so percussive in her solo on this track and when she returns to the theme (after a fine bass solo), she effortlessly blends the wordless approach with the lyrics.
With but 3 people (and none of them drummers) one might expect this music to be light. Instead, the proceedings are intimate, joyous, playful and a pleasure to take in. If one needs to label Jay Clayton, call her a "singer/musician" - she is all that and more.
Reviews Press Stories
Review- Jay Clayton. "In and Out Of Love"