All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

3

Jeff Hamilton at Phoenix Musicians Union

Patricia Myers By

Sign in to view read count
Jeff Hamilton Trio with Armand Boatman and Jack Radavich
Phoenix Musicians Union
Phoenix, Arizona
March 6, 2014

An Oscar Peterson Trio-like swingfest was delivered by Los Angeles-based drummer Jeff Hamilton in a reunion with longtime Phoenix pianist Armand Boatman, for a scholarship benefit concert presented by the Phoenix Musicians Union as part of its Centennial celebration. The trio, with Phoenix-area bassist Jack Radavich, displayed the big-ears attention required of unrehearsed gigs, resulting in an amazingly cohesive sound for a "pickup" band.

Playing mostly Boatman arrangements, the trio charged through straight-ahead standards that featured the stylish invention and fleet fingers of the 76-year-old pianist. Boatman's perennially pleasing "Sweet Georgia Brown" was filled with the pianist's Oscar-esque penchant for multiple musical quotes. Hamilton donned reading glasses for that chart and several others, but his solos were as imaginative and melodic as anticipated.

"Slow Boat to China" featured a thrilling series of fours exchanged between piano and drums, and stop-tempo segments; the chart was written by former West Coast arranger Bob Freedman after he relocated to Arizona. Radavich launched "Caravan" with strong walking moves, opening the route for Boatman's minor inventions as Hamilton played hands-only, bending drum-head tones with one stick and his knuckles. Hamilton employed tom-toms on "Too Close for Comfort," following that with a melodic exploration on brushes, finishing with a bombastic blast.

The second set added Phoenix tenor saxophonist Jerry Donato for a searing rendition of "The Nearness of You," as Radavich bowed his bass and Hamilton again displayed his legendary prowess with brushes. The upbeat closer was Bobby Hebb's timeless "Sunny," Donato delivering torrid sax swipes as Hamilton created rat-tat-tat bursts to finish the chart and end the concert.

Radavich organized the mini-reunion, knowing that Hamilton met Boatman in 1975 when the latter was the house pianist for the Boojum Tree Lounge of the Phoenix Doubletree Inn, where touring jazz headliners frequently were booked for week-long nightly performances. Radavich said he was in a touring big band when he met Hamilton and that when he heard the drummer was scheduled to bring his (and John Clayton's) big band to Arizona, he contacted him about playing a scholarship benefit in that same week.

Funds from the event established the Armand Boatman Scholarship for Young Sounds of Arizona, two all-star high school big bands established and supported since 1971 by the union.

Starting in 2013, the union has staged monthly concerts in the Union's Vic Kottner Hall to celebrate its 100 years of activity.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra at the Lilypad Live Reviews
Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra at the Lilypad
by Doug Hall
Published: November 19, 2018
Read 48th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar Live Reviews
48th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar
by Mackenzie Horne
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Martin Lesch Band  at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Martin Lesch Band at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra at Greer Cabaret Theater Live Reviews
The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra at Greer Cabaret Theater
by Mackenzie Horne
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Enjoy Jazz 2018 Live Reviews
Enjoy Jazz 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Jazz for all Ages Live Reviews
Jazz for all Ages
by Martin McFie
Published: November 14, 2018
Read "Duski at the Bronx Bar" Live Reviews Duski at the Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Danny Green Trio Plus Strings at Heckscher Park" Live Reviews Danny Green Trio Plus Strings at Heckscher Park
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 6, 2018
Read "BAN BAM: Music Talking" Live Reviews BAN BAM: Music Talking
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018