The Clayton / Scott Group - August ...

 

"What you are holding is a milestone in Canadian music: one of the first recordings written, produced and performed for the smooth jazz format...".  These are the first word of the introducing comment, Bob Farrow, Morning Host/Music Director of Wave 94,7 fm, Canada first smoth jazz radio station wrote about The Clayton /Scott Group's album "August". "We understand that the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) is receiving applications for smooth jazz formats from across the country," said Doug Kirk, President and Station Manager, CIWV-FM Radio, WAVE 94.7. "We're obviously excited about the format. We know that people are looking for something new, but at the same time familiar. Smooth jazz is just that." This radio station broadcasts since August 30, 2000.

The way for the above mentioned smooth jazz radio station was however paved by others. One of these pioneers was John Beaudin, who has been one of the biggest supporters of Smooth Jazz in Canada and the U.S. for almost twenty years now. He started SmoothJazzCanada.com to promote Smooth Jazz and related genres around the globe. Another Canadian is Ted Hasiuk with his Cafť Jazz Radio Show and Jazz Lynx, a company dedicated to the promotion of Smooth Jazz.

The debut cd of The Clayton / Scott Group was released in April 2002. The group members are Andrew Scott, the groupís guitarist and co-songwriter. Stylistically, he comes out of a tradition of jazz guitar which includes George Benson, Grant Green, Pat Martino, and Sonny Greenwich (on whom Andrew is writing a book) and Jim Clayton, who is a multi-talented writer, instrumentalist, and studio engineer who performs numerous styles with a rare assurance.

Black Horse was named after a pub around the corner from Jimís studio. The original draft of this song was written there (on coffee-stained paper) during a late breakfast. Impressing is the easy style of Bryden Baird 's trumpet blowing.

David & Elizabeth was written as a wedding gift for two friends, married in the summer of 1999. It was an intimate ceremony on a Lake Huron beach. This captures their personalities along with the romance of the event. Andrew Scott on guitar and Jim Clayton on piano clarify the ease of the being in their elated play. Can there be a better event for a song?

Santa Ana is an energetic song with David French 's and Bryden Baird's smoking sax and trumpet solos. Andrew Scott adds the cream-bonnet with his sophisticated guitar play.

Just To See Her was originally a Smokey Robinson hit in the late Eighties, and a favourite of Jimís during his late-night radio show at CHOK in Sarnia, Ontario. Michael Dunston lends the piece new shine with his fascinating voice.

Huron is another reflection on this Great Lake, brought on by two things Ė a childhood on its shores, and classic Mike Post TV themes. Both linger on, years later. Andrew's and Jim's tones are sparkling like the lake in the late afternoon sunlight.

Return To My Heart was inspired by the "quiet storm" ballads of evening FM radio. Originally a sax feature; now, Michael Dunston does wonders with an intimate lyric. A radio-like romantic tune with the typical drum programmed beat.

Keyboardist/songwriter George Duke has left his mark across several genres. A single listen to his Greatest Hits collection led to the writing of Dukish. Bass and drum support the funky attitude of this song. Nevertheless Andrew's guitar keeps it smooth.

The song August was also written for the wedding of two friends (sometimes creativity is less expensive than Bone China), this composition reflects the happiness felt by Tyler and Jacqui. Anew Andrew's guitar solo is better than any  wedding song.

I Love Music is a wonderful sentiment. Andrew captured some favourite aspects of music: a sense of humour, soul, blues, and happiness. The old Motor City Soul is awaking again. Performed and played in the Motown style it's a real footstomping and headbopping tune.

The late Vince Guaraldi was best known as the pianist/composer for the "Peanuts" TV specials. This tribute hints at his hit "Cast Your Fate To The Wind". Mr. Guaraldi is not just a tribute, it's Guaraldi 's spirit catched in arrangement and play.

This is not a mainstream album in the style of many other albums of the smooth jazz genre. I don't try to find the reason, but I like the difference.

 

© HBH 

with the exception of the additional informations taken from the Group thoughts and the liner notes.