Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part One

The year 2021 marks 110 years since the birth of jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton, best known for his role in the classic early Count Basie orchestra and sensitive accompaniments to Billie Holiday on records. This narrative is based on his lovely memoir published 35 years ago, Buck Clayton’s Jazz World (Oxford University Press, 1986). His signature trumpet sound was more intimate and smoother than his contemporaries, featuring a flowing and melodic approach to improvisation, refined tone, imaginative use of mutes and a great feel for the blues. His restrained style and melodic improvising made him a popular soloist and international Jazz star. Clayton’s sly, muted horn licks were an essential component to innovative hits of Count Basie and his Orchestra. Widely respected among musicians, he was NOT a bravura soloist in the Louis Armstrong manner though he is reported to have displayed greater intensity in live performance, as heard in extant airshots and transcriptions. His burnished horn tone and distinctive use of cup-mute graced some of
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Dave Radlauer is a six-time award-winning radio broadcaster presenting early Jazz since 1982. His vast JAZZ RHYTHM website is a compendium of early jazz history and photos with some 500 hours of exclusive music, broadcasts, interviews and audio rarities.

Radlauer is focused on telling the story of San Francisco Bay Area Revival Jazz. Preserving the memory of local legends, he is compiling, digitizing, interpreting and publishing their personal libraries of music, images, papers and ephemera to be conserved in the Dave Radlauer Jazz Collection at the Stanford University Library archives.

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