To pianist Gerald Clayton, every musical journey is a process of rich collaboration, of listening as much as expressing. He plays with a drummer's sense of timing and his solos punch with experimental textures and timbres. Raised in Southern California and classically trained, Gerald is the son of acclaimed bassist and bandleader John Clayton, from whom some of that backbone must've rubbed off. He has toured and recorded with some of the top artists in the business, including Roy Hargrove, Diana Krall, Kenny Barron, and Hank Jones.
On his two previous albums (both nominated for Grammys), Gerald worked as part of a trio, with proven standards and a handful of original songs. But his newest work, "Life Forum," departs from the constraints of a three-piece for a full ensemble sound, and there are 12 original tunes for Clayton and bandmates to sculpt and stretch. Start to finish, "Life Forum" is a celebration of creative freedom - and consequently sounds like no other fusion album. From the ruminant spoken-word title track to the poignant simplicity of "When An Angel Sheds a Feather," this music grabs, pushes, pulls, and never lets go.
"Life Forum" combines Clayton's trio mates, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown, with trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonists Dayna Stephens and Logan Richardson, vocalists Gretchen Parlato and Sachal Vasandani, and poet Carl Hancock Rux.
Signed by the artist.