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Gerald Clayton - "Skylark" (Stream)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

April 2nd marks one year since Gerald Clayton released his Concord label debut album, Life Forum-- a break for Clayton from his typical trio format on studio albums to a larger, fuller sound with production from Kneebody's Ben Wendel. It's a favorite album of ours of last year and you should definitely get it if you haven't already. To commemorate such an achievement, Clayton today released on his newly made Soundcloud page a stream of the jazz standard "Skylark", the Japanese bonus track on the album. Check out the song after the jump and remember why Gerald Clayton is one of the best piano players on the scene today.

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Gerald Clayton Trio at Durham, NC's Motorco Music Hall

Ben Gray
Contributing Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Gerald Clayton brought his trio to Durham, NC’s Motorco Music Hall last Friday for the first of a two-night run. He had longtime partner Joe Sanders on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums (subbing for Justin Brown, who has appeared on Clayton’s albums as part of the trio; this trio with Scott on drums has certainly played together before, though, as evidenced by their rapport together).

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Gerald Clayton's 'Life Forum' (EPK)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Fresh off his work with the NEXT Collective, pianist Gerald Clayton is due to release his debut album on the Concord Jazz label next week titled Life Forum. The album which includes bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown will add saxophonists Logan Richardson & Dayna Stephens and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to the mix along with vocalists Gretchen Parlato & Sachal Vasandani as well as poet Carl Hancock Rux. This is a big step forward for Clayton whose previous two albums were trio albums. It'll be interesting to see where he goes with a more fleshed out sound this time around. Check out the video breaking down the album after the jump and keep your eyes peeled for Life Forum on April 2 (when it drops on Amazon).

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2011 Litchfield Jazz Festival

seb.
Co-Founder
s.helary [at] nextbop.com

The 2011 Litchfield Jazz Festival is going down August 5th, 6th, and 7th at the Kent School, in Kent, Connecticut. Make sure to check it out if you’re in the area. This year, the festival is offering a $10 student discounts on all tickets (ranging from $22 1-day Lawn Passes to $350 3-day VIP Passes) for those 25 or younger with a valid student ID.

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2011 Atlanta Jazz Festival Photoblog

Jared Bailey
Contributing Writer
jared_bailey09[at]yahoo.com / @Popular_Strangr

For the past few of days, I’ve been trying to figure out if I wanted to write a “review” of the Atlanta Jazz Festival or not. After deep contemplation, I realized that there aren’t really words to describe what took place there. All I can really tell you is that Sean Jones celebrated his birthday with an absolutely killing set; the Ninety Miles Project (of Stefon Harris, David Sanchez, and Christian Scott) closed the festival with their unofficial listening party, and Gerald Clayton, well, is Gerald Clayton (what more can I say?). I can’t talk about this year’s jazz festival without talking about the great young talent presented by local high school and community jazz bands. There was a middle school cat on tenor sax that could chop off a few heads already. Did I mention Christian McBride was featured with Baltimore’s own Warren Wolf’s group on electric bass?! Yeah, I know, you’re kicking yourself profusely right about now for not going. If I was on the other side of the computer, I’d kick you, too, but since I’m not, I’ll add insult to injury and give you guys a slight taste of what I was able to experience Memorial Day weekend. Maybe next year you’ll wise up.