Formed in autumn 2000, The Clayton/Scott Group is already being called Canadaís premier soul-jazz ensemble. Featuring guitarist Andrew Scott (One Step Beyond, Merl Saunders) and pianist Jim Clayton (Greenhouse, The Second City), the group couples strong melodic writing with infectious grooves for a unique and exciting sound.
Their debut CD, "august..." is slated for a March 2002 release, yet already the Group has become a staple of Canadian smooth-jazz radio, and has stolen the show at festivals across Ontario. Co-leaders Andrew and Jim are stalwarts of the Canadian music community. With this latest project, the duo meets on smoother ground, fusing their respective songwriting and performing talents to form a soundas unique as their influences. The music cuts a wide swath, from smooth grooves to intimate ballads.
Backed by one of Canadaís strongest rhythm sections, the groupís creative combination of smooth guitar and jazz keyboards has been winning over audiences and garnering industry praise. In The Clayton/Scott Group, years of experience gel into a street-smart sound.
Currently, the Group benefits from a strong industry and radio push, adding aggressive marketing to their arsenal of talents. With a popular website (www.claytonscottgroup.com) and a growing national email list, the Group is extending their impact into cyberspace.
Andrew Scott is the groupís guitarist and co-songwriter. Stylistically, he comes out of a tradition of jazz guitar which includes George Benson, Grant Green, Pat Martino, and Sonny Greenwich (on whom Andrew is writing a book). He has been critically praised for his strong improvisations and compositions. In addition to his work with the Group, Andrew leads a jazz quartet, and performs with One Step Beyond. Andrew has performed with such artists as Merl Saunders, Pat Labarbera, Marvin Stamm, Vassar Clements, Bob Moses and Gordon Edwards (Stuff). He appeared and performed in "A Blue Note: The Grant Green Story." Equally interested in music performance and history, Andrew has earned his Masters of Musicology from Bostonís New England Conservatory, and is completing his Ph.D. at York University.
Jim Clayton is a multi-talented writer, instrumentalist, and studio engineer, who performs numerous styles with a rare assurance. He is a music director with Emmy Award-winning theatre company The Second City, and has performed with Martin Short, Dan Ackroyd, Colin Mochrie (Whose Line), cast members of Saturday Night Live, and Deborah Cox. Jim draws his voice from both acoustic and electric keyboards. He is an alumnus of the Humber College Music Performance program, and has received invitations to join their faculty. Jimís solo debut (Muskoka) was critically praised and aired internationally. He is also a talented accompanist, arranger, and copyist, working with Mirvish Productions and cast members of Phantom of The Opera, Chess, Cats, and Les Miserables. A gifted soloist who cites Herbie Hancock, Bob James, and the Yellowjackets as sources of inspiration, Jim has scored several comedy specials for CTV/The Comedy Network.
The liner notes from "august...", the forthcoming CD.
What you are holding is a milestone in Canadian music: one of the first recordings written, produced and performed for the smooth jazz format. While folks in the U.S.A., Great Britain and parts of Europe have been enjoying this style for close to 20 years now, it is a relatively new sound for our earsĖnew and exciting!
Smooth jazz is all about melody, rhythm and what musicians call "being in the groove." Hints of soul, R&B, funk and fusion all come together in an infectious blend that fits equally well with both originals and smooth arrangements of classic hits.
Jim Clayton and Andrew Scott put their years of collective experience to work here with a tasty offering of tracks that cut a wide swath across the soundscape. Ballads, danceable funk, and a nod to pianist Vince Guaraldi are all presented in a fresh, street smart sound, and backed by one of the hottest rhythm sections around.
Listening to music is part of my job. Every week I audition scores of CDs submitted by record companies and independent producers looking for the next hot track to add to our growing library of smooth jazz. Itís not as easy as one might expect. The rejections far outnumber the ones that make it. So when a collection like this arrives with every one a winner, Iím sure you can appreciate my excitement and enthusiasm.
Smooth jazz is here to stay. Jim Clayton and Andrew Scott will make sure itís a great ride.
Thanks, guys. Youíve just made my job a whole lot easier.
morning host/music director, Wave 94.7 FM
Canadaís first smooth jazz radio station