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 (including Snooky Young, Ricky Woodard, George Bohanon, Oscar Brashear, Bill Cunliffe, etc.), the big band received an enthusiastic response from reviewers and fans. Its 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.
Jeff received rave reviews for his dynamic drumming on 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”. Other CD releases include Absolutely! (1993, Lake Street Records) and Explosive! featuring Milt Jackson (1998, Qwest) and Shout Me Out (2000, Fable/Lightyear).