Jeff Hamilton Trio Fairway House at Grayhawk Arizona Musicfest Scottsdale, Arizona February 13, 2014 The Jeff Hamilton Trio's performance at Arizona Musicfest was aptly and enticingly billed as Paragon of Groove," and the combo delivered that groove from first note to last. Hamilton's precise power and nuanced sensitivity was evident throughout the two-set concert, a perfect fit with the elegance of pianist Tamir Hendelman and the rich timbre of acoustic bassist Christoph Luty. Their 13-year coalition conveys a merger of minds that think and play as one, enriched by their individual skills. ...read more
Acting and singing aren't mutually exclusive talents. The best singers, in fact, are natural born actors, inhabiting the stories set out for them in the songs that they sing. The opposite, however, doesn't always ring true; the best actors are not always natural born singers. In this day and age, the fame of the thespian has become a license to sing, with everybody from Hugh Laurie to Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe to Russell Brand brandishing a microphone, but the results are mixed. Some can pull it off; others simply can't. The four actors listed above have ...read more
According to a Carl Sandburg poem, Chicago is the city of big shoulders." There's a unique strength about Chicago that's different than New York or Los Angeles. Might it be suggested, therefore, that players emanating from the Windy City might also carry a bit more muscle, swagger and workmanlike focus? Perhaps.With Lush, his debut as leader, Chicago trumpeter/composer/arranger Joe Clark = 27881}} and his fine band unabashedly lay all of the above attributes out front in a performance that is more strength than delicacy, more emphasis than reservation and definitely more intensity than introversion. This is a big ...read more
One of the premier college jazz bands in the country joins forces with one of the most significant big band drummers alive today for Time Passes On, as the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble invites Grammy Award-winning drummer Jeff Hamilton for a live recording at Chicago's legendary Jazz Showcase. Under the leadership of Bob Lark, a renowned trumpeter and Director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University, DePaul's jazz ensemble has often performed with jazz icons contributing to their curriculum. Hamilton is now part of that history and provides two compositions for this date, of which the emotional remembrance ballad title track ...read more
When it comes to touch, taste, and a deep understanding of what makes a band swing, drummer Jeff Hamilton has no peers. Hamilton's recordings with everybody from Diana Krall and Rosemary Clooney to his own co-led Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra have marked him as a paragon of class and groove, and his place as the defining brush player of his generation was cemented long ago, but his legacy in jazz may ultimately be related to his trio work. Hamilton, along with best buddy/bassist John Clayton, turned heads early in his career as part of pianist Monty Alexander's trio, ...read more
Jeff Hamilton's presence as a drummer is pervasive both with his trio and as part of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra which he co-leads with bassist John Clayton. Hamilton's reach as a drummer goes well beyond these two outfits, his history as a musician complementing Oscar Peterson, Warren Vache, and Phil Upchurch among others. Style and approach may have differed, but Hamilton let his drums signal captivating rhythmic signposts.
The trio setting is a compact one. The interaction between Hamilton, Christoph Luty (bass), and Tamir Hendelman (piano) is facile and lights up the many moods that move from the ...read more
One doesn't often associate the sounds of the organ with the music of big bands, but that's exactly what you get when Joey DeFrancesco, a virtuoso on the Hammond B-3 organ, joins forces with renowned drummer Jeff Hamilton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra as special guests of conductor Jorg Achim Keller and the German hr-Bigband (Hessischer Rundfunk).
While there's no question that you're listening to a typical big band album, as evident from the brassy sounds of the opening Shangri-La, the organist steals the show and the limelight throughout. DeFrancesco enjoys plenty of orchestral space, and the band ...read more
If Jeff Hamilton isn't the world's greatest living drummer, he's on the short list for coronation. For the past five years, he's been in Modern Drummer's top five (#1 in 2004 and 2006), and was #4 in the most recent Jazz Times readers' poll. Whether you think such polls reflect true quality or just recent visibility, the undeniable fact is that Hamilton is a reliably creative, classy and swinging drummer whose live shows contain a nearly balletic grace that few performers can match. (For a small glimpse of his uniquely elegant moves, check out his two videos on drummerworld.com.)
This disc was recorded in a hurry. Wolfgang Hirschmann, the legendary recording engineer of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, expressed a wish to record the Jeff Hamilton Trio before his imminent retirement. This meant the group had about two months to come up with a final set list and arrangements in the midst of a packed gigging schedule--a challenge these three pros brilliantly met, as the recording demonstrates. And it was clearly worth the rush, since the recording has a wonderfully warm and balanced feel.
It's difficult to identify the high points on this consistently excellent disc, but personal ...read more
The Best Things Happen' when you listen to Jeff Hamilton. He's universally acknowledged as one of the greatest drummers in jazz, whether he's swinging the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra or waking up a famous ghost band by sitting in--I witnessed that once, and the before/after difference was stunning. Unmatched for chops, ears, and flair, Hamilton has led his own trio for nine years. Previously with the superb Larry Fuller and maestro Lynn Seaton, it now contains players who all live in the same city. Pianist Tamir Hendelman's Eastman composition degree shows in his imaginative arrangements, and bassist Christoph Luty has a ...read more
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