Thursday, March 24, 2022

Jeff Hamilton Trio; Catch Me If You Can

If I were to attempt to read Jeff Hamilton’s mind, I think I’d come up with concepts like: real deal; honoring tradition; giving it your best ALL the time; playing with equally gifted musicians; and probably a bunch more. And for these reasons, I’m delighted with every JH album that has come my way for about four decades! He and the pianist on the session, Tamir Hendelman, have worked together in the trio for twenty-two years. And it’s easy to distinguish their intimate, genuine, swinging communication from note one. This CD also introduces their new bassist, Jon Hamar, and he fits the proceedings as though he’s been around for twenty-two years as well. Most of the choices here are either originals by trio members or, in a few cases, refreshing under-performed material from other sources. Tempos range from crystalline and gentle to hard swinging bop in the test of that tradition. The three selections familiar to me all have big band history. All the more interesting that “Bijou” (Ralph Burns), “Big Dipper” (Thad Jones), and “Moonray” (Artie Shaw) are all arranged and performed to perfection by this peerless trio. Thank you, Jeff, Tamir and Jon for keeping it right down the center of the jazz highway. Long may you lead the pack! 

Capri; 2020; 58:02


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