594

Tamir Hendelman: Playground

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Tamir Hendelman: Playground This is quite an unusual debut, since Israeli-born pianist Tamir Hendelman already had an international reputation years before this first CD as leader. A longstanding anchor of two famous bands (the Jeff Hamilton Trio since 2000, and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra since 2001), Hendelman is increasingly busy as arranger, sideman, and accompanist for singers such as Natalie Cole, Roberta Gambarini, Tierney Sutton, and Jackie Ryan. But perhaps the best recommendation of all comes from keyboard legend Oscar Peterson: after witnessing Hendelman's interpretation of Peterson's own "Canadiana Suite," Peterson described the younger man's playing as "exhilarating, invigorating, and thoughtful," and said that he was "refreshed" by Hendelman's "inventive passages."



This rare ability to invent "refreshing" passages is one of Hendelman's major gifts. It's not just a matter of avoiding cliché, his arrangements and solos are distinctive and compositional, while still respecting the integrity of the original. In particular, his imaginative use of harmony, syncopation and dynamics transforms a well-known and well-done tune into something rare. On Playground, he's also written a number of unison passages for piano and bass that appear throughout the music, showcasing both Hendelman's creative imagination and the incomparable technique of John Clayton.



Playground is a good title, since this CD is exactly that: a space for exploration, discovery and fun. Hendelman's compositions are intelligent, melodic, and varied: he offers the luscious "Almost Summer," the impish title track, the angular "Tiger's Lair," the restless "Spring Action," and the quietly grand "Sycamore." Other delights include the trades between Hendelman and drummer Jeff Hamilton on "I'm Old Fashioned," which somehow conjure a dapper, dancing Fred Astaire; Hendelman's novel, bluesy approach to "Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me," and his un-sentimental take on "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You." On "The Cape Verdean Blues," he pares Horace Silver's tune to its rhythmic essence, then takes all the muscular splashing out of "Singin' in the Rain" to expose its surprising sweetness. Hamilton's brushwork is as classy and swinging as ever, while Clayton's exquisite arco adds a deep, lustrous sheen to "It Never Entered My Mind."



It has been argued that a rhythm section composed of John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton would make a barking dog sound beautiful; certainly their level of artistry sets them apart from most players, living or dead. But Hendelman is fully up to the challenge, providing arrangements and compositions that make the most of this trio and their long history of warm collaboration. And in the process, Playground confirms the arrival of a brilliant "new" talent.

[Note: the CD is available only at cdbaby.com]


Track Listing: Driftin'; I'm Old Fashioned; Playground; Sycamore; Tiger's Lair; It's Only a Paper Moon; It Never Entered My Mind; Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me; Spring Action; Singin' in the Rain; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; The Cape Verdean Blues; Almost Summer.

Personnel: Tamir Hendelman: piano; Jeff Hamilton: drums; John Clayton: bass.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Swing Brothers | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Hank Jones Hank Jones
piano
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet
Benny Carter Benny Carter
sax, alto
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano
George Colligan George Colligan
keyboard
Steve Davis Steve Davis
trombone
Oriole
band/orchestra
Dina Blade Dina Blade
vocalist

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966" CD/LP/Track Review Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
by Doug Collette
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!