121

Jeff Hamilton Trio: Red Sparkle

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jeff Hamilton Trio: Red Sparkle When it comes to touch, taste, and a deep understanding of what makes a band swing, drummer Jeff Hamilton has no peers. Hamilton's recordings with everybody from Diana Krall and Rosemary Clooney to his own co-led Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra have marked him as a paragon of class and groove, and his place as the defining brush player of his generation was cemented long ago, but his legacy in jazz may ultimately be related to his trio work.

Hamilton, along with best buddy/bassist John Clayton, turned heads early in his career as part of pianist Monty Alexander's trio, and his long stint with bassist Ray Brown's group helped to create some of the finest trio documents put down on record in the late '80s and early '90s. Hamilton ultimately left Brown's employ to focus on building a magical trio of his own, and his current outfit fits the bill. Pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty have been working with Hamilton for the past decade, and such earlier recordings as The Best Things Happen (Azica, 2004) and Symbiosis (Capri, 2009) serve as evidence of their compatibility. Red Sparkle, the trio's sophomore effort for the Capri label, speaks further of the connection these three musicians have forged, as their ensemble artistry seems to deepen over time and age like fine wine.

While Hamilton references Brown—directly through a performance of the bassist's "I Know You So Well" that has Luty brandishing a bow, and indirectly through jubilant or bluesy originals like the drummer's nod to the dearly departed trumpeter Snooky Young on "Ain't That A Peach" and Luty's tribute to Duke Ellington, "In An Ellingtone"—this trio moves beyond the musical scope of the late bassist's band. Hamilton re-imagines Thelonious Monk's "Bye Ya" as a tropically tinged Brazilian number, brings all kinds of hits, stops and solo breaks into "Too Marvelous For Words," highlights Hendelman's lush piano work and deft touch on "Laura," and burns on the up-tempo title track, which ends with an excitable snare drum solo and shows off a harder-hitting Hamilton than usual.

While it's too early to tell if this group will serve as a template for threesomes of the future, they're making beautiful music in the here-and-now that swings, soothes and leads to plenty of toe-tapping and head-nodding of the enthusiastic approval variety.


Track Listing: Ain't That A Peach; Bye Ya; On and On; Hat's Dance; Too Marvelous For Words; Laura; A Sleepin' Bee; Red Sparkle; I Know You Oh So Well; In An Ellingtone.

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

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Capri Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

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 "Source" CD/LP/Track Review Source
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Boss Tenor" CD/LP/Track Review Boss Tenor
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "In Concert" CD/LP/Track Review In Concert
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 6, 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!