Alto Saxophonist and flautist Jeff Clayton died from Kidney cancer of December 17th. He was 66 years old. He trained on oboe and English horn in college before touring with Stevie Wonder and becoming a regular in recording studios. He recorded with dozens of hitmakers from Kenny Rogers to Madonna. Over the years he worked with class acts including Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald and was part of the Count Basie Orchestra.
In 1977 he formed the Clayton Brothers Band with his brother John. In 2009 their album Brother to Brother was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category. In 1985 he became one of three leaders (with John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton) of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, a group that continued to perform recently.