The Skidmore Jazz Institute in Saratoga launched its annual summer concert series Tuesday, June 30 with the volcanic pianist Gerald Clayton and his quintet. The son of John Clayton (of the famed Clayton Brothers Band), the 25-year-old rising jazz star presented a wondrous command of the keyboard and a mature compositional style with a set of originals including “Bulablues” and “Peace For The Moment,” as well as “Major Hope,” a political statement on today’s international events.
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The inspired rhythm section of bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown propelled the firey solos by tenor saxophonist Myron Walden, vibist Chris Dingman and Clayton. Throughout the concert Clayton and his band mesmerized the audience, layering classical overtones on top of their energetic contemporary jazz.
At 8pm Thursday, July 2, the Skidmore Jazz Institute Faculty Band features jazz legend trombonist Curtis Fuller. The concert – and all upcoming Jazz Institute concerts – take place in the Bernhard Theater on the Skidmore College campus, continuing a 22-year tradition of excellent presentations open to the public for free.
Photos and review by Andrzej Pilarczyk