Tamir Hendelman: Living a Dream
AAJ: Did this gig affect your playing style? I saw some things on YouTube, and you seemed a little more subdued than usual.
TH: That's interesting. Well, the setting of the songs didn't have huge solos. You can see it for yourself when the DVD of the Vanguard gig comes out [on February 2, 2010].
AAJ: The "Deluxe edition" of Love is the Answer is a two-CD set: one is Barbra with the orchestra arranged and conducted by Johnny Mandel, and the other is with quartet. Was the quartet dialed down, and the strings added? Or were there two separate recordings?
TH: The quartet recorded the music knowing there would be strings added later on. So we played sparsely for that reason. And some of the string lines were so beautiful that I wanted to play them basically note for note. I think that's probably what you heard. I don't think of it as being more subdued, or more outI just listened.
Do you know [pianist] Dave McKay? He's a great accompanist, very attuned. One time I took a lesson from him and he said it's really important to think about the word "responsibility" when you play. And I said, "Responsibilitythat sounds so seriouswhat are you talking about?" And he said, "Response and ability. The ability to respond."
AAJ: Interesting. It's not just a sense of duty.
TH: John talks about it all the time: constantly having your radar out, to all the musicians, the vocalists you might be playing with, and also the drummer, what is he doing? Do I want to answer him; do I want to give him something to respond to? It's such a joy, an incredible experience, to make music with these people.
AAJ: So what's next for you?
TH: I'm looking forward to my next recording on Resonance Records, which will be my first for them as a leader. We're recording in late February 2010, using bassist Marco Panascia and [drummer] Lewis Nash. Resonance has the idea of bringing people together who spark off each other, and take chances.
AAJ: Both Nash and Hamilton are amazing drummers. Asking who's the greatest in the world is ridiculousit's like asking, what's the prettiest part of nature?
TH: Exactly. It's like, you have your favorite friends: one of them likes to joke all the time, the other one likes to talk about life, and each one brings out a different part of your personality. If you only had one of them as your friend, maybe you wouldn't be complete, you know?
Jeff Hamilton Trio, Symbiosis (Capri Records, 2009)
Barbra Streisand, Love is the Answer (Columbia, 2009)
Jackie Ryan, Doozy (Open Arts, 2009)
Graham Dechter, Right on Time (Capri Records, 2009)
Greta Matassa, I Wanna Be Loved (Resonance, 2009)
Angela Hagenbach, The way They Make me Feel (Resonance, 2009)
Tamir Hendelman, Playground (Swing Bros, 2008)
Natalie Cole, Still Unforgettable (WEA, 2008)
Michael Bublé, Call Me Irresponsible (Reprise, 2007)
Jackie Ryan, You and the Night and the Music (Open Art, 2007)
Jeff Hamilton Trio, From Studio 4, Cologne (Azica, 2006)
Diana Krall, From This Moment On (Verve, 2006)
John Pizzarelli, Dear Mr. Sinatra (Telarc, 2006)
Roberta Gambarini, Easy to Love (Now Forward, 2006)
The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Live at MCG (MCG Jazz, 2005)
Brasil Brazil, Brasil Brazil (Yellow Green, 2000)
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