June 2nd, 2012
The 5th annual Bellevue Jazz Festival started on Weds May 30th, and I began covering it on Thursday night at the Meydenbauer Center where the Clayton Brothers Quintet played a kick-ass set. The GRAMMY-nominated Clayton Brothers Quintet was formed in 1977 by brothers John and Jeff, and while their paths sometimes diverged, the brothers continue to share a common musical vision. Their album, Back in the Swing of Things, demonstrates their unique musical vision.
The album, as well as the songs “Expressions” and “Siblingity,” are bristling with surprises, delights, and the kind of musical telepathy that could only come from tuned in siblings. Their most recent recordings were nominated for GRAMMY Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. The brothers place a strong emphasis on sharing their knowledge and thus are dedicated jazz educators who travel extensively to participate in workshops and music clinics around the world.
The quintet also consists of John’s son and GRAMMY-nominee Gerald Clayton on piano, Obed Calvaire on drums, and Terell Stafford, a highly regarded trumpeter and band-leader.
Here are some highlights from the concert.
I had the privilege of meeting John Clayton before the set and watched as he warmed up on the 12o year old bass that once was the instrument belonging to legendary bassist Ray Brown.