Clay Ross | The Random Puller

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Weird Jazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Random Puller

by Clay Ross

"The Random Puller," marks the independent recording debut of Guitarist/Composer/Bandleader Clay Ross. Clay was recently named a 2005 Jazz Ambassador by the U.S. State Department and is a new member of world-renowned percussionist Cyro Baptista's group.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Random Puller
8:13 $0.99
2. Agora
5:31 $0.99
3. Falez
7:19 $0.99
4. Lost Child
6:58 $0.99
5. Luna Belle
5:29 $0.99
6. Midway Road
6:26 $0.99
7. Blue Clay
6:01 $0.99
8. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
3:29 $0.99
9. The Circle Song
3:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"The Random Puller," now available online through, marks the independent recording debut of Guitarist/Composer/Bandleader Clay Ross. Ross was recently named a 2005 Jazz Ambassador by the U.S. State Department and is a new member of world-renowned percussionist Cyro Baptista's group "Beat the Donkey." On his latest album, Clay leads a quartet through nine original compositions that showcase his writing and improvisational talents.

The music aims at a modern jazz esthetic that maintains its focus on groove and melody. There is the detailed journey through the many sections of title track; the bright and playful feel of the jazz samba "Agora;" the Sephardic sounds of "Falez;" the moody trek through "Lost Child;" the rolling optimism of "Luna Belle;" the pastoral openness of "Midway Road;" the cathartic swing of "Blue Clay;" the tongue and cheek vocal shout on "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah;" and finally a musical mantra, "The Circle Song."

Recorded in South Carolina over two late night sessions in December 2004, for this date Clay employed the talents of three southern natives. Featuring the inventive tenor playing of Atlanta's Kebbi Williams (Jeff "Tain" Watts, Outkast) and the dynamic rhythm section of Brian Mulholland (electric bass) and Stockton Helbing (drums), both current members of jazz legend Maynard Ferguson's touring band, this recording delivers the intimacy of live performance with the sound quality of studio production. Engineered and Mixed at Williamson Evans Music by Duane Evans, "The Random Puller" was also mastered by the ubiquitous Allan Tucker (Verve, Tzadik) at Foothill Digital in NYC.

Clay Ross was born in the small town of Anderson, S.C. After receiving a BFA in composition from the University of Charleston he became an integral part of the South Carolina jazz scene. He is now living in NYC and can be seen performing regularly. Please visit for more information.



to write a review

Zach C.

This CD kicks all kinds of ass. It's my first recorded exposure to Clay Ross, as I saw him live with Brazilian Bluegrass and wanted to hear more. All the tracks are strong and interesting, and he manages to make good contemporary jazz without noodling all over it or coming off as pretentious. Not only a jaw-dropping guitar player (with abundant chops) but a great composer! Way to make the rest of us jealous.

Keep your ears open for Clay Ross!

Sean Dennis

A Solid Debut from a Talented Player and Composer
Clay Ross' debut disc reveals a solid jazz player, but even more so a strong songwriter who knows how to lay back and let his session mates shine. Recorded live in the studio, "The Random Puller" has the feel of musicians who are friends pushing and pulling each other in a supportive way to explore the nuances of each composition. Ross' playing reminds one of Emily Remler and Pat Martino, melodic yet driving, with solid and tastefully understated soloing.

On the title cut "The Random Puller" a jangling chord progression moves the chorus towards a frenetic and inventive sax solo by Kebbi Williams and a rolling drum solo by Stockton Helbing (drummer for Maynard Ferguson).

"Agora" is a happy samba rhythm, propelled by Ross's enthusiastic comping that dives compellingly and sometimes treacherously in front of the beat, providing energy and tension. Later in the cut his punctuated, sixteenth note solo and chord melody provide a tasty complement to Williams' solo nod to Don Wilkerson.

A highlight of the disc is Kebbi Williams' sax work on the Spanish-inflected "Falez". Williams' solo tumbles downhill, then builds momentum and cohesiveness in a very beautiful way.

"Luna Belle" is another strong cut, defined by a technical major/minor/major arpeggio phrase and a sparse and delicate middle section.

Kebbi Williams shines again in "Midway Road". The track evokes images of a 55 mph cruise through rural areas, seeing the occasional development or farm house, with Williams' sax solo spinning with momentum like a dust storm.

"Blue Clay" swings nicely, with Kevin Mullholland's fidgety bass solo an odd but interesting contrast.

The tongue-in-cheek "Yeah Yeah Yeah" has a funky, New Orleans rhythm to start out. Kebbi Williams' sax stays firmly behind the beat, with Clay Ross providing a bouncing and bluesy guitar solo.

All in all this is an enjoyable disc. I'm looking forward to the next one from Clay Ross.

Laura Grice

I love this CD! The music on this CD encompasses so many different moods that it is perfect to listen to no matter how I'm feeling or what time of day. I really am enjoying it a lot.


Myspace has introduced me to alot of new artists,and Clay Ross is one of them.Here we have one of those few,and I do mean few,musicians who makes you think; damn,he´s got skills,the instant you hear it.In some ways it reminds me of Grant Green,but then again,it`s much more than that.Enjoy.

Caroline Edwards

my first clay cd! yay!
The Random Puller makes me like Jazz music!