Buck Clayton

Buck Clayton (Wilbur Dorsey) was born in Parsons, Kansas on November 12th 1911. One of the greatest classic trumpeters, he came from a musical family and was taught the trumpet by Bob Russell (from George E. Lee's band). He worked in many territory bands until he was 21 and then went to China for two years with his own band.

He replaced Hot Lips Page in the Basie band in 1936 when they were playing the Reno Club in Kansas City, and stayed with them until his Army years came up. Upon discharge he joined Norman Granz's newly formed Jazz at the Philharmonic, and as he once joked, "keeping Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins apart". Back in New York in 1947 and '48 he played the Savoy Ballroom with Jimmy Rushing's band, then in the 1950's he was with Joe Bushkin's Embers Quartet.

He is best remembered from this period for his sets of irreplaceable recordings of standard tunes which included "The Buck Clayton Jam Sessions".

In 1959 he toured with a band that included Buddy Tate, Dickie Wells and Emmett Berry. This band paid a visit to England and recorded such classic albums as "Songs for Swingers". In the 1960's he worked and recorded with Eddie Condon, toured Europe as a soloist (including tours of Britain with old friend Humphrey Lyttelton) and played Jazz Festivals. During 1969 he discovered he had some lip problems and by 1970 this had become a disturbing recurring condition, and the problem reached its height in 1979 when, after a month in Denmark, Clayton applied himself more to teaching, arranging, guest lectures and directing recording sessions. He died on December 11th 1991 at the age of 80.

Recommended recordings:"The Classic Swing of Buck Clayton" OJC OJCCD-1709-2
"The Essential Buck Clayton" Vanguard 2-103/4-2
"Buck & Buddy" with Buddy TateOJC OJCCD-757-2
"The Complete CBS Buck Clayton
Jam Sessions
Mosaic MD6-144
"Baden, Switzerland"Sackville SKCD2-2028

Please note: "Songs for Swingers" and "The Buck Clayton Jam Sessions" are both included in the box set by Mosaic, which is, unfortunately a limited edition.