Jeff Hamilton Trio: From Studio 4, Cologne, Germany (2006)
It's difficult to identify the high points on this consistently excellent disc, but personal favorites include Luty's witty, bass-centered arrangement of "I've Never Been in Love Before" and Hendelman's classy take on "A Felicidade"the most elegant I've ever heard, as well as a showcase for Hamilton's celebrated hand drumming technique. "Too Close for Comfort" is an irresistible, flat-out burner, and Luty's eloquent bowing sings the luscious melody of "So Many Stars." The group has fun with "Epistrophy," which features a solo by Hamilton and some of the pitch-bending he's famous for, allowing his drum to transcend percussion and become a melodic instrument (see also "Lullaby of the Leaves").
Add some fresh arrangements of old standards like "Moonglow" and "Autumn Nocturne," wrap things up with a swinging original (Hamilton's rousing "2nd Street Samba"), and you have a thoroughly pleasing package, varied and tasteful and expertly played. Trio jazz just doesn't get any better than this.
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Track Listing: Yano; I've Never Been in Love Before; A Felicidade; Lullaby of the Leaves; Too Close for Comfort; So Many Stars; Epistrophy; Autumn Nocturne; Moonglow; 2nd Street Samba.
Personnel: Jeff Hamilton: drums; Tamir Hendelman: piano; Christoph Luty: bass.
Record Label: Azica Records