Live At MCG MCGJ1017
  • CAT # MCGJ1017-25

    1. Georgia 3:56
    2. Jody Grind 5:41
    3. Nature Boy 4:44
    4. Lullaby Of The Leaves 8:27
    5. Silver Celebration 7:57
    6. Captain Bill 5:56
    7. Mood Indigo 5:06
    8. Evidence 6:46
    9. Like A Lover 9:59
    10. Eternal Triangle 6:11
    11. Squatty Roo 8:12

Live at MCG, by the renowned Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, marks the organization's 20th year of existence. It's been a wonderful existence -- maintaining and expanding the jazz big band tradition.

In 1985, drummer Jeff Hamilton joined bassist John Clayton and saxophonist Jeff Clayton to form The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Together with an all-star lineup of Los Angeles-based musicians, the big band received an enthusiastic response from reviewers and fans.

Notes by Jeff Hamilton

Family! This might be the best word to describe our jazz orchestra. Since 1985, we have been fortunate to have many of our same “family” members “be there” for each other. The reason is simple. Whatever it takes to serve the music is what we’re all in agreement with.

We do “family” things:
•When our former lead trumpet player, the late Bobby Bryant, suffered a stroke, Jeff Clayton designed and built a trumpet stand so that Bobby could still play with the band even though he was unable to hold his horn.

•John Clayton arranges features for individuals, highlighting their style of soloing. Everyone “feels the love!” When that person leaves the band, the arrangement is usually retired.

•We look out for each other. For example, you’ll never see our senior trumpet man, Eugene “Snooky” Young, alone or carrying his own bags while we’re on tour.

We had a great year in 2004 with tours of the east coast, two to Europe and one to Japan. The family ties grew stronger and it shows in the music that we offer you with this recording. The tributes to Horace Silver and Tommy LiPuma resulted in new arrangements by John Clayton. This recording was made during our four days of “residency” in Pittsburgh at MCG. It was the end of a tour and the band was feeling good, having played the new music every night while making stops in Cleveland, New York, and D.C.

This brings us to our 2005 Family Reunion! As we celebrate our 20th year, we invite you to be members of our extended family. As we remember the losses of founding members Bobby Bryant, Bill Green, and Thurman Green we know that they’ll always be a part of our music. The dream that John Clayton and I had in 1972 continues on.

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra’s first recording, Groove Shop (Capri), was named by CD Review as one of the best recordings of 1990. It also earned a Grammy Award nomination. Hamilton created a critical stir with his drumming on the following release, Heart and Soul (Capri). David Badham of Jazz Journal International stated in his review: “This is one of the finest modern big band issues I’ve heard... This is undoubtedly due to Jeff Hamilton, a most driving and technically accomplished drummer.”

More recent releases include Absolutely! (1993, Lake Street Records) and Explosive! featuring Milt Jackson (1998, Qwest) and Shout Me Out (2000, Fable/Lightyear). From 1999-2001, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra was the in-residence ensemble for the Hollywood Bowl Jazz series. Later in 2005, the band will record with vocal stars Diana Krall, and John Pizzarelli, for their respective record labels.

Find out more about The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra