Let the Fingers Fly

Gerald Clayton in Concert

This 23-year-old piano phenom is blessed with amazingly spastic fingers that dance across his keyboard, whether playing New Orleans-laced boogie runs or straight-ahead jazz. He has yet to record an album of his own (though he's guested on discs from the likes of Diana Krall), but his buzz has been building for years-first in LA, and now in New York City, to where he relocated earlier this year-so it's just a matter of time before the world finds out about him. Clayton's Steamers appearances are more infrequent these days due to the move, so this is a shot at seeing a future great in action. Live, he throws himself fully into the music, bopping up and down on his piano stool, shaking his dreads in time, banging out rolling-thunder sounds designed to get an audience screaming. (Clayton doesn't think much of jazz crowds who want to passively sit and listen.) And his down-tempo moments are just as rewarding-like a lullaby wrapped inside a dream.
Sun., Dec. 9, 8 p.m., 2007

 
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