I've heard it said that the hottest current musical (?) is called Hamilton. Well, not to be out of the loop, here's yet another "Hamilton" review. This time it's Scott Hamilton, a tenor player who in his youth chose not to tread on Coltrane Blvd. Instead he followed the style of luminaries like Don Byas, Coleman Hawkins, Guy Lafitte, and most of all, Ben Webster. On this stunning live performance he heads a trio with the rapidly rising Rossano Sportiello on piano and J. J. Shakur on bass. Scott is a longtime devotee of the American Songbook. So it's no surprise that we are treated to such gems as "Tangerine", "Three Little Words", "Darn That Dream", "Old Fashioned Love", "You Do Something To Me", and a pop chart from back in the day, "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blue" (aka "Volare"). A more recent arrival on the list of unforgettable tunes is "Estate"; Scott's breathy version is something to behold. Sportiello, an expert in the stride-swing arena, provides solid, literate, subtle accompaniment, and his solos sparkle with delight. The same may be said for bassist J. J. Shakur. Hats off to Scott Hamilton for his dedication to the music he loves. The world needs to know that musically, he and his namesake, Jeff, are the Hamiltons worthy of the world's attention.
Cellar Live; 2017; appx. 72 min.
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