Edwin G. Hamilton: The Whole World Must Change

Dan Bilawsky By

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Track review of "First Time"

Edwin G. Hamilton: The Whole World Must Change
Edwin G. Hamilton plays drums, sings, covers organ, adds strings, writes, supplies percussion, provides piano, and includes some vibraphone work on this album. To say he's a musical jack-of-all-trades would be an understatement. But let us leave out the second part of the phrase, because he's actually quite accomplished in most of those categories.

The Whole World Must Change finds Hamilton putting his many and varied skills to good use. It's an album that's all over the map, containing gospel-based original music, loyal and stylistically-revised standards, pensive presentations, uplifting sounds, stellar guests in the form of pianist Eric Reed and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and even a drum solo patterned on Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas."

The specific track under discussion here—"First Time," which opens the album—is both a pure and evolving representation of the blues. A peppy and punctuated head puts Hamilton's vocals front and center, but that only lasts for twelve bars. Then the full band enters with some NOLA-infused swagger, supporting the polyphonic overdubbed pursuits of saxophonist Scott Ferguson for one go round of the form. From there it's a shift to a swing feel, as guitarist Amos Hoffman, bassist Travis Shaw, and Hamilton (on drums) each take two choruses before the vocal-directed head returns to bring the song to a close. It's all said and done in less than two-and-a-half minutes—in the blink of an eye, in jazz time—but it gets a complete message across: It states that Edwin G. Hamilton is an optimistic soul with much to offer in his music. What follows is fourteen more tracks with many other memorable messages to impart. But where pure fun is concerned, "First Time" prevails.


Edwin G. Hamilton: drums, washboard, tambourine, lead vocals, Scott Ferguson: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Amos Hoffman: guitar; Travis Shaw: acoustic bass.

Album information

Title: The Whole World Must Change | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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