Group Members: Jeff Clayton, John Clayton
Styles: Swing, Bop
Bassist John Clayton Jr. and his two-years-younger brother, saxophonist Jeff Clayton, play mainstream jazz. The brothers were born and raised in Venice, CA. John took up bass in junior high school, while Jeff began playing clarinet at nine, switching to saxophone at 14. John joined Monty Alexander's trio after graduating from college in the mid-'70s, and in 1977 moved to Count Basie's band; Jeff also played with Basie. The Claytons began working together as a group in 1978, issuing their debut album, Clayton Brothers, on Concord Records, followed in 1980 by It's All in the Family. After their stints with the Basie Orchestra, both brothers played with a variety of jazz and pop performers. In 1985, with drummer Jeff Hamilton, they launched the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Their third album as the Clayton Brothers, The Music, came in 1991. For this date, the group was a quartet filled out by Hamilton and pianist Bill Cunliffe. Herlin Riley replaced Hamilton for 1997's Expressions after the Claytons signed to Qwest Records, but Hamilton was back in the drummer's chair for 2000's Siblingity, which marked the group's expansion to a quintet with the addition of trumpeter Terell Stafford.
- Michael G. Nastos & William Ruhlmann (All Music Guide)