Life Forum

Life Forum

by Gerald ClaytonGerald Clayton


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/02/2013
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072337701
catalogNumber: 33770
Rank: 98726

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gerald Clayton   Primary Artist,Organ,Piano,Vocals,fender rhodes
Gretchen Parlato   Vocals
Carl Hancock Rux   Spoken Word
Justin Brown   Drums
Sachal Vasandani   Vocals
Dayna Stephens   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Sanders   Bass
Logan Richardson   Alto Saxophone
Ambrose Akinmusire   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Chris Dunn   Executive Producer
Carl Hancock Rux   Composer
Sachal Vasandani   Composer
Ben Wendel   Producer
Gerald Clayton   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Ted Tuthill   Engineer

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