Monday, May 25, 2015


Clayton-Thomas has been the big voice in front of big bands for a long time, going back to Blood, Sweat & Tears, and continuing through his solo jazz career. This time out, he cuts it back to a tight, five person all-star team, a jazz combo to record this batch of intimate classics.

You'll know them all; Stardust, As Time Goes By, Summertime, Nature Boy, etc. They are so well known, you have to really put everything into them, or they can fall flat. Clayton-Thomas really makes them his own. It's a sturdy combination of emotion and skill as he digs into the time-tested words and melodies, trusting both his ability and the magic in the songs. Well into his sixth decade of performing, he may not be able to huff and puff and blow your house down anymore, but his technique and musicality has only improved with the years.

This isn't new territory for Clayton-Thomas. He revisits a song that has over the years become his signature vocal, God Bless The Child, as first recorded on the second BS&T album in 1968. For someone known for so long for his tremendous vocal power, this set shows he's always had the gift of nuance as well.

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