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Scott Hamilton & Bucky Pizzarelli: The Red Door

Jim Santella By

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The tribute to Zoot Sims by Scott Hamilton and Bucky Pizzarelli is, as one would expect, wrinkle-free, easy on the ears, and nostalgic. The duo has chosen tunes associated, in one way or another, with the tenor saxophonist who delighted audiences for some 40 years; Sims passed away in 1985 at age 59. Allowing each voice to be heard unobstructed while still providing ample interaction, the duo format works well; Pizzarelli worked and recorded briefly as a duo with Zoot Sims. His 7-string electric model allows the guitarist to supply a bass line, rhythm/harmony and melody. Scott Hamilton’s reputation precedes him; the full, relaxed tenor sound is quite pleasant.

Zoot Sims and Al Cohn wrote "Morning Fun," which aptly describes the session. The saxophonist and guitarist fill the air with a style of music that remains pleasurable to fans of all jazz sub-genres, while performing songs familiar to most. "Just You, Just Me" includes a guitar solo in which Pizzarelli allows the enthusiasm to take him through string slaps and strums that exert additional rhythmic force. Elsewhere, the duo harmonizes and takes turns improvising on the familiar melodies without ever losing sight of the swing in jazz. Highly recommended.


Title: The Red Door | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Stash Records


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