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Artist Portrait

John Clayton

b, *1952 US, Venice, Los Angeles
Musician / Arranger of Jazz and Soundtrack
A.k.a. John Lee Clayton Jr.

African-American jazz bassist, arranger, bandleader and educator. Whether as an articulate spokesman for the music or functioning as part of a rhythm section, John Clayton is a major force. Born in Venice (near Los Angeles) in 1952, John Clayton picked up the double-bass at junior high school as part of his chosen music elective course and mastered the fundamentals quickly. Years later, John's most influential teacher was to be Ray Brown, who gave John the opportunities of playing in gigs and shows. John said: "I had to learn all of my major, minor, whole tone and diminished scales, as well as all of my chord types (major triads, minor triads, dominant 7ths, minor 7ths, diminished 7ths and augmented 7ths). He also made me learn as many jazz and standard tunes as I could." John then became involved with the Monty Alexander Trio for 2 years (1975-77), Count Basie Orchestra for another 2 years (late 1977-79), and Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Holland for 5 years. Upon returning to Los Angeles, John wanted to try his hand at film scoring but became a studio bassist for 75-piece orchestras that played soundtrack music that was in John's opinion "quite mediocre". He quit that scene. The Clayton Brothers was founded in 1977 with his brother, altoist Jeff Clayton (3). While their paths would sometimes diverge, the brothers continued to share a common musical vision that would draw them back together. The group has been a quartet, quintet and even a sextet at different points in time. John Clayton is the father of Gerald Clayton. Do not confuse John Clayton with John Clayton (2), an Indie rock bass guitar player.

        
Instruments
  • Bass
  • Bass guitar
  • Double bass
Genres
  • Jazz
  • Soundtrack
  • Pop
  • R&B/Soul
  • Classical
Popular Tracks   
My Funny Valentine on SuperBass 2 by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
Aan de Amsterdamse grachten on The Artistry of Elly Ameling by Elly Ameling
Who Cares? on SuperBass by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
Papa Was a Rolling Stone on SuperBass 2 by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
Blue Monk on SuperBass by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
Taco With a Pork Chop on SuperBass 2 by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
Brown Funk on SuperBass by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
SuperBass Theme on SuperBass by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
Three Songs from Porgy and Bess: Summertime on SuperBass 2 by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride
SuperBass Theme on SuperBass 2 by Ray Brown, John Clayton & Christian McBride

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Band Members
Discography


Title Artist Year Type
Parlor SeriesJohn Clayton With Gerald Clayton2013Album
The L.A.SessionPaul Kuhn With John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton2013Album
Get ReadyEdsilia Rombley, Metropole Orchestra Conducted By John Clayton2013Album
Better Get Hit In Your Soul A Tribute To Charles MingusMetropole Orchestra, Randy Brecker, Ronnie Cuber, Conrad Herwig, John Clayton2012Album
De Muziek Van Charles MingusMetropole Orchestra O.l.v. John Clayton2011Album
The World Of Duke Ellington Vol.2WDR Big Band Köln Conducted By John Clayton Featuring Dianne Reeves, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, Benny Green2008Album
Blues & BeyondWDR Big Band Köln feat. Joe Williams / Milt Jackson w/ Cedar Walton, John Clayton & Jeff Hamilton2007Album
Another BreakMitsuaki Kishi, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton2002Album
SuperBass 2Ray Brown, John Clayton, Christian McBride2001Album
SuperBassRay Brown With John Clayton & Christian McBride1997Album
Super BassRay Brown, John Clayton1992Album
Still Of The NightBruce Forman Featuring John Clayton & Albert Heath1991Album
The Jiggs UpJiggs Whigham, Bud Shank, John Clayton, George Cables, Jeff Hamilton1990Album
Reunion In EuropeMonty Alexander - John Clayton - Jeff Hamilton1984Album
External Links
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Acknowledgements
To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership and together with Stefan Guggisberg for the visual data mining application ArtistAnalytics.
Universal Link: https://music.metason.net/artistinfo?name=John%20Clayton
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