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Jeff Hamilton: Live from San Pedro

Edward Blanco By

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Together 17 years and counting, the Jeff Hamilton Trio presents another exceptional session of music captured in a one-night live performance at the Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA simply titled Live from San Pedro. Along with pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty, drummer Hamilton and crew touch on a host of creative compositions including the Monk standard "In Walked Bud," the classic from the Ahmad Jamal songbook, "Poinciana," the Hammerstein/Rodgers ballad, "I Have Dreamed," and "Hoosier Friend," a special chart from fellow drummer and friend, Joe LaBarbera.

The music is light, humble, relaxing as well as sizzling at times beginning with opening "Sybille's Day," a composition penned for the wife of a good friend, this one gets the ball rolling in burning fashion with the leader and pianist assuming assertive phrases in a blazing start to the set. This is followed by one of Hamilton's favorite songs, "Poinciana," which pays tribute to the legendary Jamal trio with a pounding beat inspired by friend John Van Ohlen.

Composed by the late great Swiss saxophonist George Robert, "Hammer's Tones" was first recorded in Europe while on tour with Robert and captures Hamilton on splashy brushes, while "I Have Dreamed" features Luty on the bow on a beautiful soft ballad dedicated to actor Wilford Brimley. Hamilton also includes two John Clayton compositions with "Gina's Groove," and "Brush This," demonstrating the drummer's affinity for the brushes over the sticks at times. Clayton of Course, is the leader's partner with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

The music continues to heat up on the steamy Hendelman tune "Bennissimo," featuring the Israeli pianist at his best with a blistering, rumbling drum solo from the leader that makes this track one of the highlights of the live session. The reworked show tune "Gary, Indiana." And the LaBarbera song "Hoosier Friend," closes the show in high gear leaving no doubt that what one has just experienced, is like what Stan Kenton would say, "Artistry in Rhythm."

Arguably, one of the best piano trios in recent times, the Jeff Hamilton Trio provides a special musical treat on Live from San Pedro with three world-class performers displaying their appreciable talents for the world to enjoy once again. Hopefully, there will be much to come in the future.

Track Listing: Sybille's Day; Poinciana; Hammer's Tones; I Have Dreamed; In Walked Bud; Gina's Groove; Brush This; Bennissimo; Gary, Indiana; Hoosier Friend.

Personnel: Jeff Hamilton: drums; Tamir Hendelman: piano; Christoph Luty: bass.

Title: Live from San Pedro | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Capri Records

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