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John Clayton with Gerald Clayton: Parlor Series

For years now, eminent bassist John Clayton has been pursuing what he calls a longstanding dream: asking pianists he admires to record duets in a manner so relaxed and intimate it’s as if they are playing in the parlor of his home. The now-deceased pianists Hank Jones and Mulgrew Miller are among the collaborators Clayton successfully recruited for this endeavor. But perhaps because he didn’t want his duet project to be reframed as tributes or farewells, the first album released in this belated Parlor Series is with his son, Gerald Clayton.

Not surprisingly there are some gentle, luminescent gems among and within the eight-song program. The Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa nova “Zingaro” is handled patiently and methodically. Gerald Clayton’s “Sunny Day Go” is an evocative, wistful ballad in the vein of Michel Legrand. And when John Clayton unsheathes his bow on Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes,” the tune becomes the poignant highlight of the entire set.

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