204

Scott Hamilton: Blues, Bop & Ballads

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Hamilton: Blues, Bop & Ballads It's been 22 years since a sax prodigy named Scott Hamilton set the jazz world on its ear simply by favoring pure swing over post-bop and fusion. Now in his mid-forties, the talented tenor saxman remains true to his Muse. Blues, Bop and Ballads delivers everything its title promises, and stylishly.

This album swings with an easy grace, and Hamilton is his typical classy self throughout. The recording is a surprisingly wide-ranging collection considering its repertoire is mostly tunes from the 1940s. Hamilton enlists a larger-than-usual cast on this one, working in quintet and seven-piece formats.

A few of the 10 tracks straddle the line between bop and swing. The Coleman Hawkins-Theolonious Monk composition "I Mean You" is a fun excursion in knurly swing. Nat Adderly's "Wabash" is energized by the three-horn attack of Hamilton, Joel Helleny (trombone) and Greg Gisbert (trumpet). Gisbert delivers a slinky Roy Eldrige-style performance on Roy's composition "Fish Market." Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" is given a fast-tempo treatment, while Coleman Hawkin's "Stuffy" is sure to get your toes tapping.

As we've come to expect, Hamilton transports us to another realm with a couple of lush ballads. "Skylark" and the German pop song "Answer Me (My Love)" prove once again that Scott Hamilton is one of the most melodic saxophone balladeers in jazz. Veteran pianist Norman Simmons (whose resume includes Charlie Parker, Carmen McRae and Joe Williams) provides gorgeous accompaniment, most notably on "Answer Me (My Love)."

Blues fans will be pleased to find guitarist Duke Robillard on three tracks, while jazz fans may wonder about a bluesman playing with such reputable jazzers. But anyone who's heard Robillard's album Swing knows that Duke belongs. On Ike Quebeck's classic "Blue Harlem," Robillard emulates Tiny Grimes, a guitarist who championed the young Scott Hamilton.

Blues, Bop and Ballads finds an accomplished saxophonist playing some great jazz with his talented friends. You can't ask for much more out of a recording, and this is already one of my favorite Scott Hamilton releases.

Track Listing: I Mean You; Blue Harlem; Rhythm Riff #127; Skylark; Wabash; Fish Market; Answer Me (My Love); Stuffy; Smile; Good Bait.Collective

Personnel: Scott Hamilton- tenor saxophone; Greg Gisbert- trumpet; Joel Helleny- trombone; Duke Robillard- guitar; Norman Simmons- piano; Dennis Irwin- bass; Chuck Riggs- drums.

Title: Blues, Bop & Ballads | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Moments Captured" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Captured
by Andrew Luhn
Published: May 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!