PAUL RYAN and the KENNY CLAYTON TRIO featuring Paul Ryan (voc), Kenny Clayton (pno), John Rees-Jones (bs), Mike “Ozzie” Osborn (drs).
PAUL RYAN and KENNY CLAYTON have been performing together for a decade, united by their common love of the Great American Songbook, and have become noted for their jazz-inflected renditions of songs by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, George Gershwin, Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn and many others.
Their deep knowledge and understanding of these songs mean that Paul and Kenny never confine themselves to obvious hits but take delight in rediscovering and reviving overlooked gems. As a result, they have a vast repertoire and take pride in never performing the same set twice. As a vocalist, Paul is known for his impeccable phrasing and at rich baritone which has drawn comparisons with Johnny Hartman.
In the words of the late jazz critic of the Evening Standard, Jack Massarik: “all these kiddy-crooners around today think they’ve got the Sinatra touch but, believe me, they’re not fit to shine (Ryan’s) patent-leather shoes.“. Kenny, described by Massarik as “keyboarder extraordinaire”, has been praised by Michael Coveney for his “witty jazz piano” and hailed as an “authentic genius” by Tribune Magazine which also complimented the duo on their “effortlessly stylish interpretations of the Great American Songbook”.
For this return to Ronnie’s, the Kenny Clayton Trio is once again completed by John-Rees Jones (familiar to Ronnie’s audiences for his long-term involvement with the Humphrey Lyttelton Band) and drummer Mike “Ozzie” Osborn whose experience beyond a wide range of musical genres informs his vibrant jazz playing.
At the heart of the Trio is Kenny himself, one of the UK‘s leading pianist/composer/arrangers, long in demand as musical director for such stars as Petula Clark, Matt Monro, Shirley Bassey and Dick Haymes but returning to his first love, jazz while drawing on a lifetime’s experience of every style of music from Vivaldi to Vegas. So expect a few surprising digressions into classical themes, French chanson, Broadway and even a few original compositions from Kenny himself. In any event, you are guaranteed a lunchtime feast of smiles and maybe a few gentle tears from Paul, Kenny and the “boys”.
Check JazzWise review of their show last time at Ronnie's: