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The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: The L.A. Treasures Project

Closing in on its 30th anniversary, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra continues its commitment to straight-off-the-bone swing. The CHJO’s new live recording, The L.A. Treasures Project, is an ebullient collection of tracks, the band taking a set of razor-sharp arrangements from bassist-conductor John Clayton out for a spin.

Recorded last September at Alvas music store in San Pedro, L.A. Treasures is partly a showcase for two of Los Angeles’ most venerated vocal talents. Barbara Morrison sets the house ablaze with her own rager of a compositional tribute to her adopted hometown, “Got to Get Back to L.A.,” and unfurls a more delicate touch with a mellow take on Percy Mayfield’s “River’s Invitation,” featuring playful accompaniment from pianist Tamir Hendelman. Ernie Andrews distills the blues to its essence on Mayfield’s “The Jug and I,” and proves an adept crooner on the Cahn/Styne chestnut “Time After Time,” backed by sensitive strains from Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty.

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