Music

Clayton Brothers: Siblingity

Ben Varkentine

Clayton Brothers

Siblingity

Label: Warner Bros.
US Release Date: 2000-08-08
Amazon
iTunes

Jazz travels.

It moves, both in the sense of changing place, and effecting emotion. A good jazz record, it seems to me, should take you to another place, even if it's only so long as you are listening to the record.

In clubs or concert halls, jazz is the music of motion, invention and emotion. You tap your feet and listen to voices -- the voice of a bass, the voice of a saxophone.

Jazz is flexible.

It curves and turns in whatever way it's players are inclined, and it builds variations on the ground broken by the greats. Good jazz contributes to the history and teaches in the modern day.

The above surfeit of hubris in aid of trying to codify my feelings about The Clayton Brothers Siblingity, an album I like very much, but find it hard to get excited about.

The brothers, bass-player John and reeds player Jeff, are musicians of the old school. Starting on their instruments before they were in their teens, they grew up to play with greats (together and separately) including Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Milt Jackson, and Joe Williams before joining with drummer Jeff Hamilton and pianist Bill Cunliffe to form a quartet in 1997. Trumpet player Terell Stafford has been added for this recording.

Siblingity is by and large music that would not have sounded out of place at any time during the 50's and early 60's. Though mostly originals, some do include familiar compositions in part, as launching pads for the new work and tributes to their influences.

The lyrical "Entrez Vous" is a highlight, as is "You Bossa Nova Me," "That Night," with a classy bowed solo from John Clayton, "Save Yourself For Me" and "Heavy Drama" with percussive piano from Cunliffe.

The saxophone player Courtney Pine once said that jazz is only understandable in the context of it's own history. I don't know if that's true, but the Clayton Brothers are certainly playing smack dab in the middle of that context.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

Masaki Kobayashi's 'Kwaidan' Horror Films Are Horrifically Beautiful

The four haunting tales of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan are human and relatable, as well as impressive at a formal and a technical level.

Film

The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Books

'The Kill Chain': Why America Might Lose Its Next Big War

Christian Brose's defense-nerd position paper, The Kill Chain, inadvertently reveals that the Pentagon's problems (complacency, inertia, arrogance) reflect those of the country at large.

Music

2006's 'Flat-Pack Philosophy' Saw Buzzcocks Determined to Build Something of Quality

With a four-decade career under their belt, on the sixth disc in the new box-set Sell You Everything, it's heartening to see Buzzcocks refusing to settle for an album that didn't try something new.

Books

'Lie With Me': Beauty, Love and Toxic Masculinity in the Gay '80s

How do we write about repression and toxic masculinity without valorizing it? Philippe Besson's Lie With Me is equal parts poignant tribute and glaring warning.

Music

Apparat's 'Soundtrack: Capri-Revolution' Stands Alone As a Great Ambient Experience

Apparat's (aka Sascha Ring) re-imagined score from Mario Martone's 2018 Capri-Revolution works as a fine accompaniment to a meditational flight of fancy.

Music

Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers Merge Haitian Folk and Electronic Music on 'Vodou Alé'

Haitian roots music meets innovative electronics on Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers' Vodou Alé.

My Favorite Thing

Weird and Sweet, Riotous and Hushed: The Beatles' 'The White Album'

The Beatles' 'The White Album' is a piece of art that demonstrates how much you can stretch, how far you can bend, how big you really are. The album is deeply weird. It has mass. It has its own weather.

Music

Sarah Jarosz Finds Inspiration in Her Texas Roots on 'World on the Ground'

By turning to her roots in central Texas for inspiration on World on the Ground, Sarah Jarosz has crafted some of her strongest songs yet.

Music

Hinds' 'The Prettiest Curse' Is One of Victory

On The Prettiest Curse, Hinds create messy pop music that captures the vibrancy of youth without being childish.

Music

12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.

Music

Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.