The Sound of New York series, by Gloria Rebecchi, seeks to capture a snapshot of the New York scene, the cradle of modern jazz. In ten episodes, it profiles artists who have a pivotal role in this scene, this time focusing on Gerald Clayton, the Dutch-born American pianist and composer. Clayton's list of collaborations is as varied as it is impressive, featuring names such as Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Ben Wendel, Ambrose Akinmusire, Terri Lyne Carrington, Charles Lloyd, Avishai Cohen, Roy Hargrove ... There are few corners of contemporary improvised music that he has not had an influence on.
"I don’t care much for genre distinctions. The more I learn about music, the more I realize it is connected." Diving into Clayton's world reveals a musician that sees no distinction between the music and his own spirituality. He is part of an up-and-coming generation, one that is yet to achieve the veteran status of their fore-bearers, and he is aware of the mantle they carry: "By embracing improvisation, Jazz music has always represented ideas like freedom, musical democracy, and comradeship. I think some Jazz musicians today have lost their focus on these elements." With an inspiring attitude, fluency of style and broad jazz lexicon, Clayton is an artist standing on the shoulders of giants, further extending their reach.