2004 / Audiosphere Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
I have reviewed several of Clayton Wright’s solo piano albums in the past, but this is the first one with his trio. Jazz Escapades sparkles with the joy of making music and interacting with like-minded musicians. Wright helms the Trio at the piano, and is joined by Mark Miley on drums and Billy Brockmann on bass. The music creates the ambiance of a jazz lounge where the mood is easy and upbeat. The Trio melds improvisation with composition, and all of the pieces are smooth and mellow, drawing from bebop, cool, and traditional jazz stylings. Wright composed all of the music, and, to these ears, this is by far his best album to date. Quite a few of the songs have been on Wright’s solo piano albums, but the Trio breathes new life into them and makes them really shine. Although the mood is fairly consistent from start to finish, the pieces are distinctive, making this CD easy on the ears in the background or with full concentration.
The CD opens with “Ultracool Cats,” a piece that is a bit aloof and yet playful, setting the tone for the album. “Nightlife” is one of my favorites - cool, silky, and graceful - what a great tune for a slow dance! I really like “Mirage,” too. On the dark side, it hides a mysterious secret as it teases and tantalizes. “The Humble Bumblebee” is as easy-going as they come as it moseys from flower to flower without a care in the world. “Afterglow” is a bit more reflective and thoughtful. “Momentum” is more energetic, but remains in the cool and breezy groove. “Driftwood” floats freely on a cloud of sea foam, in no rush to go anywhere.
I really enjoyed reviewing Jazz Escapades and look forward to hearing what else the Clayton Wright Trio comes up with. Recommended for fans of mellow jazz.
November 4, 2006