THE NEW GRACE KELLY
By Debra Levine, April 4, 2016, Arts Meme
fans will be jolted to learn that
Grace Kelly has returned. This time ’round she’s as beguiling as
ever, having taken the form of a 23-year old saxophone player.
We watched the new Grace Kelly wail, pitching her horn skyward at an
extreme high angle, at Saturday night’s “Give the Band a Hand” gala
fundraiser of the California Jazz Foundation.
Among this impressive young woman’s many cool gigs is with the house
band on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Saturday’s swellegant party honored bass player John Clayton,
also the composer/big-band leader/music educator whose annual forays
to the Vail Jazz Festival teaching young musicians had a big impact on
Kelly’s formation. In brief words, she appreciated Clayton as one of
her powerful mentors.
Capping the evening was a surging set of razor-edged big-band jazz
from the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The 20-member
ensemble ripped into its densely arranged repertoire, several numbers
either written or influenced by bassist Ray Brown, who was also
honored at the gala. The band’s namesake and its formidable drummer,
Jeff Hamilton introduced numbers, which were conducted with
physical gusto and extreme musicality by the passionate Clayton.
Son Gerald Clayton,
a transcendental jazz pianist, also honored his Dad on the happy
Read jazz writer
John Garelick’s recent reporting about the Boston-reared Kelly published in
The Boston Globe.