Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

188

Scott Hamilton & Friends: Across the Tracks

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
A tenor saxophonist standing foursquare and unreconstructed in the tradition established by Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Illinois Jacquet, Scott Hamilton is considered so uncool in some quarters that to admit you enjoy him is to risk being shunned by hip society.



Now in his mid-fifties and playing a brand of jazz that was at its peak before he was born, Hamilton hasn't deviated from his style since his debut album, Scott Hamilton Is A Good Wind Who Is Blowing Us No Ill (Concord, 1977), recorded when he was just 23. Since then he's made another sixty-plus discs as leader or co-leader—an output, interestingly, which in jazz is matched only by saxophonists directly opposite him on the stylometer, like Anthony Braxton or Evan Parker.



In the process, Hamilton's honeyed sound and easy swing have given all but the most po-faced pleasure. He plays the style he plays guilelessly and with conviction, as though born to it. His music has degrees of creativity absent from the pasticheurs. Retro he might be, revivalist he certainly isn't.



Across The Tracks, produced by Bob Porter and recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at his Englewood, New Jersey studio (hence the title), is an infectious set of mainly up-tempo ballads and blues, on which Hamilton fronts a quartet completed by guitarist Duke Robillard, organist Gene Ludwig and drummer Chuck Riggs. Baritone saxophonist Doug James is added on two tracks, "Parker's Pals" and "Intermission Riff."



The guitar/organ/drums line-up suggests chicken shack soul-jazz, circa 1960—and on one track, an ebullient reading of "Something For The Road," Hamilton adopts an appropriately vocalized and raw tone. But elsewhere he favors the warm, caressing sound, given a languorous vibrato at slower tempos, for which he's best known.



Hamilton is brilliantly served by his band. Robillard's elliptical solos are magic, giving fresh nuances to familiar structures, and even when comping he's worth listening to. James shines on his two guest appearances, particularly the boppish "Parker's Pals," written by fellow baritone player Leo Parker and first heard on Parker's Let Me Tell You 'Bout It (Blue Note, 1962), now available in a fine Van Gelder remastered edition. Ludwig and Riggs, who has played with Hamilton on and off for over thirty years, cook from start to finish.



Forget the style police and give yourself a treat. Scott Hamilton may not stretch the envelope, but he surely seals it with a kiss.

Track Listing: Deuce's Wild; Parker's Pals; Save Your Love For Me; Cop Out; Intermission Riff; Sweet Number; Something For The Road; Blue Turning Grey Over You; Memories Of You.

Personnel: Scott Hamilton: tenor saxophone; Duke Robillard: electric guitar; Gene Ludwig: organ; Chuck Riggs: drums; Doug James: baritone saxophone (2, 5).

Title: Across the Tracks | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Unknown label

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
New York Beat
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live at Pyatt Hall

Live at Pyatt Hall

Cellar Live
2018

buy
Live at the JazzRoom

Live at the JazzRoom

Self Produced
2016

buy
Live In Bern

Live In Bern

Capri Records
2015

buy
Live at Nefertiti

Live at Nefertiti

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2010

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun30Sun
Scott Hamilton
Porgy & Bess
Vienna, Austria
Jul6Sat
Scott Hamilton Quartet
Sunset-Sunside
Paris, France
€28
Jul23Tue
Scott Hamilton
Jamboree Jazz Club
Barcelona, Spain
Jul26Fri
Scott Hamilton
Jamboree Jazz Club
Barcelona, Spain
Jul27Sat
Scott Hamilton
Jamboree Jazz Club
Barcelona, Spain

Related Articles

Read Honeymoon Album Reviews
Honeymoon
By Karl Ackermann
May 27, 2019
Read Live at Earshot Album Reviews
Live at Earshot
By Paul Rauch
May 27, 2019
Read You're The Star Album Reviews
You're The Star
By Ljubinko Zivkovic
May 27, 2019
Read Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door Album Reviews
Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door
By Mike Jurkovic
May 27, 2019
Read Higher Album Reviews
Higher
By Tyran Grillo
May 26, 2019
Read The Unlonely Raindancer Album Reviews
The Unlonely Raindancer
By Matt Parker
May 26, 2019
Read Pyramid Scheme Album Reviews
Pyramid Scheme
By Mark Sullivan
May 26, 2019