Monday, November 2, 2009

Greg Clayton - Montreal Jazz Guitar Guru

I received a nice comment the other day on my blog from Montreal jazz guitarist Greg Clayton who taught several of my improv classes during my undergraduate degree at McGill University (1995- 1999).

Greg is an unbelievable force in jazz guitar playing and a literal encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to jazz music. Years later, I always felt fortunate to play with Greg, usually subbing for drummer Andre White at the Mode a Vie restaurant in Old Montreal (also playing with John LaBelle on vocals and Alec Walkington on bass).

Fortunately for us, Greg has posted a number of videos of himself performing on These particular clips are from 1997 when Greg released a GREAT live album recorded at Boomers Cafe located in Pointe Claire. I was present for at least one of those nights and remember a fantastic swinging evening of music with Dave Young on bass and Jerry Fuller on drums joining Greg on guitar. This was, unfortunately, the only opportunity I had to see Jerry Fuller play live...

These particular videos also feature Alec Walkington (also another bass player I've always loved playing with) and Andre White, this time on drums (he's also an outstanding pianist for those who didn't know that). I've always been a huge fan of Andre's drumming. He swings hard and knows exactly what and how much to give a soloist. I've seen Andre play with a ton of artists over the years and he always seems to know how to make them sound good !

Here's the trio:

And beautiful solo rendition by Greg:

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