2

Wilford Brimley With The Jeff Hamilton Trio: Wilford Brimley With The Jeff Hamilton Trio

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Wilford Brimley With The Jeff Hamilton Trio: Wilford Brimley With The Jeff Hamilton Trio Acting and singing aren't mutually exclusive talents. The best singers, in fact, are natural born actors, inhabiting the stories set out for them in the songs that they sing. The opposite, however, doesn't always ring true; the best actors are not always natural born singers. In this day and age, the fame of the thespian has become a license to sing, with everybody from Hugh Laurie to Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe to Russell Brand brandishing a microphone, but the results are mixed. Some can pull it off; others simply can't.

The four actors listed above have taken vocal detours into various locales, from Broadway to bluesville, but others have been tempted to visit jazzier territory instead. Joe Pesci (a.k.a. Joe Doggs), for example, put his Jimmy Scott-esque vocals to good use on organist Joey DeFrancesco's Falling In Love With Love (Concord Records, 2003), and now, Wilford Brimley is taking a run at the classics with drummer Jeff Hamilton's classy trio backing him up. Brimley and Hamilton are an odd match on the surface, but they share a love for this music, and that's all that's really required to make a go of things.

Brimley-as-vocalist comes with some drawbacks and strengths, as many musicians do. He tends to favor a form of speak singing with a vibrato chaser, which isn't likely to win over the vocal jazz set, but he also has a few important things going for him. First and foremost is his storyteller's delivery. It's clear that he gets the ins-and-outs of what the songs are saying. One of his other strengths is his ability to give the material a quaint, lived-in feel.

Hamilton and company play their part(s) to perfection. Hamilton's break away brush work and impeccable sense of swing are a joy to experience, pianist Tamir Hendelman is ever-charming, and bassist Christoph Luty is the connective tissue. Sometimes he bridges the gap between Hendelman and Hamilton, but he's just as likely to fill the spaces Brimley leaves ("A Sleepin' Bee") or simply serve as a harmonic guidepost.

The arrangements that surround and support Brimley are clever and concise, with twelve of the fifteen numbers clocking in under the four minute mark; the idea seems to be to say what needs to be said, let a quick solo or two sneak in, and then move on.

It's not likely that vocal aficionados will be ditching their Nat "King" Cole in favor of Brimley's "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" or choosing his "A Sleepin' Bee" over Mel Torme's take on the song, but Brimley's work shouldn't be discounted. He's always possessed an ability to win over an audience, regardless of the setting, and he does his best to do it again here.

Track Listing: I Wish You Love; I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face; Pick Yourself Up; I Have Dreamed; Waltz For Debby; Ain't She Sweet; That Sunday, That Summer; When I Take My Sugar To Tea; Walkin' My Baby Back Home; This Love Of Mine; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Love Letters; A Sleepin' Bee; Your's Is My Heart Alone; Bidin' My Time.

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

Title: Wilford Brimley With The Jeff Hamilton Trio | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Capri Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Third Stage of Elegance" CD/LP/Track Review Third Stage of Elegance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.