Back from my Christmas holiday hiatus with my family, its high time for a new blog post.
And I promise, I won’t be bothering you with more seasonal music (well, until Easter that is, where I’ll certainly write about Bach’s different Passions).
I’ve previously mentioned Jeff Hamilton several times. He has played on two of my Essential Jazz albums, among others. He just has an unbeatable swing. I had the pleasure of hearing him live once with Ray Brown and Gene Harris, a concert I still remember 20 years later.
Beyond Ray Brown and Gene Harris, Hamilton has also played with Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall (he’s one of the main reasons several of her albums are good), and Count Basie.
My last blog post mentioning Jeff Hamilton was Montreux Alexander Live , with Monty Alexander, which like the album I’m just about to mention, was taken from fellow music lover JoeWhip’s recommendations on Audiostream.
Live! (1996 Mons Records)
This album had been nominated by Jazz critics in Germany in 1997 as best Jazz album. And it really is a very fine achievement.
There are killer uptempo tracks like Apple Honey, where Jeff can show off his technical skills (however, unlike some other drummers who like to impress their audience, with Hamilton, the skills will always just serve the music). According to Jazz Times, this track is nearly 360 bpm. I haven’t verified, but it is certainly very impressive.
But then again, there are also soft ballads like Time Passes On, which are every bit as enjoyable as the fast tracks.
And you have to check out the great drum solo at the end of A Night In Tunisia!
Overall, this is traditional mainstream Jazz, extremely well done, and with the additional energy of a live event. Recommended!
My rating: 4 stars
You can find it here (Qobuz, which I’m happy to report has found an investor and will continue in business for at least the foreseeable future).