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Clayton, Buck

Biography

Buck Clayton (born Wilbur Dorsey Clayton; Parsons, Kansas, November 12, 1911 – New York City, December 8, 1991) was an American jazz trumpet player who was a leading member of Count Basie’s "Old Testament" orchestra and a leader of mainstream-oriented jam session recordings in the 1950s. His principal influence was Louis Armstrong. The Penguin Guide to Jazz says that he “synthesi[zed] much of the history of jazz trumpet up to his own time, with a bright brassy tone and an apparently limitless facility for melodic improvisation”. Clayton worked closely with Li Jinhui, father of Chinese popular music in Shanghai. His contributions helped change musical history in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.




Recordings

Clayton, Buck: Buck Clayton All Stars 1961

This 1961 concert - which was also broadcast by Belgian radio - captured eight hard-driving American Swing-musicians on a night when "work" could accurately be described as “play". They were responding with gusto to the crackling atmosphere set up by the fans in Brussels. While it’s true that studio sessions usually end up musically "neater” it’s also true that jazz performers thrive on live concert conditions. They certainly do here!