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Clark Gayton

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Primary Instrument: Trombone

Born: January 18, 1963    

You would be hard-pressed to identify a musician as comfortable with classical music as he is with jazz, indie rock, folk and reggae. You would be equally hard-pressed to identify a musician who can rock with Levon Helm (formerly of The Band) on weekends, fly to Istanbul for a command performance, pack the house weekly in New York at nublu, make recording sessions, wax eloquent about music history and the fundamentals of musicianship, tour with friends in support of their fledgling bands, and still find the wherewithal to record a big band piece from scratch in the remaining spare time (you must listen to the phenomenal re-recording of “Tina,Too”) … unless you happen to know Clark Gayton....
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”If you are fond of reggae, ska, gospel, the b flat tuba and trombone, the explorations of Clark Gayton in these musics (sic) on these instruments will have you dancing and shouting hallelujah, his in-the-pocket rock-steady a smooth groove. Composer, arranger and keyboardist, Gayton also possesses a seductive blues palette authenticated by roots in the Mississippi riverboat tradition. That Mr. Gayton is a compelling jazz man goes without saying. Having first encountered him at nublu on NY's Lower East Side, I soon found myself looking forward to his then-weekly Tuesday nights. The band could always be counted on. Skankin'! Gayton's trombone is one of the mellowest since Lawrence Brown, supported by laid-back arrangements and solid composition. There is nothing amorphous about it - want to skank? Here it is.... Tradition seems to be at once Mr. Gayton's tool and his plaything: while the function of brass in the orchestra is to compel, Gayton's work on these instruments is subversive, delivering subtle lines of bebop wrapped carefully in a ska sandwich. Vocalist Dollarman rides these rhythms as easily as a mare. The brass, composition and arrangements are pop jewels. Gayton is indeed a man for all seasons and all persuasions when it comes to his music. Still, it's all about the skank. Listen if you will, to 'Just For You'. Gayton's organically metronomic tuba is a perfect foil for the others in the section. The blues guitar of Bill Sims must rank with the best.” --John Farris

“Lord knows there's already a whole lot of shaking going on throughout MTO Volume 1 whenever trombonist Clark Gayton tailgates.” Jazz, Territorial Imperatives A party band fluent whether the language is Count Basie, Don Cherry, or 'Darling Nikki' by Francis Davis October 10th, 2006 5:08 PM http://villagevoice.com/music/0641,davis,74698,22.html Album Review Trumpeter Steven Bernstein's Millenial Territory orchestra is inspired by the leader hearing some of the exciting late '20s and early '30s recordings of territory bands .... The musicians all show versatility, trombonist Clark Gayton takes particularly impressive solos, and overall, the music is quite fun. Easily recommended to fans of the Mingus Big Band and other somewhat riotous ensembles. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide For full text see: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/discography/index.jsp?pid=341963&aid=790976

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