Saturday, October 24, 2015

CD Review: Scott Hamilton & Jeff Hamilton Trio, "Live In Bern"


Scott Hamilton and Jeff Hamilton are not family related but they are musical brothers. This is the first CD from these two Jazz giants, and I hope it will not be their last.  Scott Hamilton takes the lead on some great Standards accompanied by the fabulous Jeff Hamilton Trio consisting of Jeff on Drums, Tamir Hendelman on Piano and Christoph Luty on Bass.  This CD is a classic swing Jazz album that proves that a warm-toned Tenor and delicious phrasing can still produce magical music.
Jeff Hamilton, every one's favorite Drummer continues to prove that technical ability and intuitive percussive artistry are a winning combination.  Jeff seems to be everywhere you look on the music scene, playing with his Trio, co-leader of the outstanding Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and writing creative music like his own composition "Sybille's Day",  the 7th cut on this CD.  Jeff also had a hand in Producing this CD, while the playlist is mostly up tempo,  there are also some great ballads.
Tamir Hendelman once again proves on this CD that he is one of the leading Jazz Pianist on the Jazz scene today.  He can do it all, great solos, solid support for other lead players and never interfering with their spot in the sun and seamlessly joining the band together as one.  This is my first experience with Christof Luty who does an outstanding job on Bass.  I should not have been surprised at his talent knowing that these three magnificent musicians would only ask an exceptional Bassman to join them.  This is a great CD to have a drink, turn the lights down low and kick back for an hour of wonderful Jazz sounds.

The Playlist is an unusual grouping of great songs.  Take a look at the composers, they are all at the  top of the composer list:

            PLAYLIST:
1. "September in The Rain"  Dubin/Warren
2. "All Through the Night" Cole Porter
3. "Watch What Happens" Michel Legrand
4. "Soul Eyes" Mal Waldron
5. "This Can't Be Love"  Richard Rodgers
6. "There'll Be Some Changes Made" W. Benton Overstreet
7. "Sybille's Day"  Jeff Hamilton
8.  "Key Largo"   Benny Carter
9. "Woody'n You"   Dizzy Gillespie
10. "The Champ"  Alan Hawkshaw
11. "Ballad For Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus Eaters"  Billy Strayhorn
12. "You and the Night and The Music"  Arthur Schwartz
13. "Centerpiece"   Harry Edison

           I found a "YouTube" for you to hear cut #10 on this CD, "The Champ'.  Enjoy!



Thursday, October 15, 2015

CD Review: Daniel Smith: "Jazz Suite For Bassoon"



I would like to start this review with a question:  How many favorite Jazz Bassoon players do you know?  Ok, that question may be too difficult.  How about this one: "Have you ever heard a Bassoon player playing Jazz?  My answers were "none" and "no" until I was sent a review copy of Daniel Smith's "Jazz Suite For Bassoon".  It turns out I love the sound of a Bassoon at least when it's played by the world's most recorded Bassoon soloist.  Even more surprising is that the Bassoon and its unusual warm sounds fits into the Jazz world quiet comfortably.  Daniel Smith is simply an amazing musician who is at easy in all parts of the music world.  This CD is a mix of Jazz and Classical that fits perfectly.  The title of this CD is "Jazz Suite For Bassoon" but all of the performers are seriously, Classically trained musicians.  This CD successful makes its way between Jazz and Classical smoothly and successfully.

The world-class musicians on this CD are:

On Baroque Adaptations of Bassoon and Jazz Trio:
     Daniel Smith-Bassoon
     Bruce Boardman-Piano
     Terry David-Bass
     Martin Drew-Drums

On Scott Joplin Rags:
     Daniel Smith-Bassoon
     Jonathan Still-Piano
     Paul Manley-Violin
     Kate Musker-Viola
     Justin Pearson-Cello
     Michael Brittain-Bass

On Jazz Suite For Bassoon:
     Daniel Smith-Bassoon
     Steve Gray-Piano
     Mitch Dalton-Guitar
     Jim Lawless-Vibraphone
     Roy Babbington-Bass
     Mike Smith-Drums

I found a couple of cuts from the CD on "YouTube" so you can experience Daniel Smith at his best.  The first one is from Daniel's Scott Joplin Rags, "Chrysanthemum" and the second is from his Jazz Baroque Adaptations for Bassoon and Jazz Trio "Allegro from Concerto in B Flat" written by Antonio Vivaldi.











Sunday, October 4, 2015

CD Review: Adair-Aliquo "Too Marvelous For Words"


I have always loved the way the remarkable Beegie Adair plays songs composed by the greatest composers in America.  My CD collection contains at least 10 of her CDs,  each one a gem!  If you like outstanding Piano Jazz Trios you need go no further than to one of Beegie's CDs.  On the other hand, I always wished I could hear what she and her trio would sound like if they added another instrument.   The other day my wish came true as I was sent a review copy of Beegie's new CD,  "Too Marvelous for Words" featuring the great Sax player, Don Aliquo.

Beegie and Don fit together seamlessly.  One would suspect that they have been playing together for years as they anticipate each other's moves perfectly.  Well, Don and Beegie have only performed a few times over the years and this is their first CD together.  So my guess is they must be brother and sister!

The songs they have selected for this album are all part of Jazz history.  The composers are all out of the "Great American Hall of Fame" including 2 gems from Billy Strayhdorn, 2 from Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, and contributions from Thelonious Monk, and Johnny Mercer.  Completing this musical Jazz gem are two of Beegie's Trio, Roger Spencer on Bass and Chris Brown on Drums.  When you combine these four spectacular musicians, the interplay from the quartet sounds like a musical dream.

           PLAYLIST:
1. "Johnny Come Lately"                                2. "This Can't Be Love"
3. "Day Dream"                                                4. "Bye-Ya"
5. "Isfahan"                                                       6. "All or Nothing At All"
7. "I Hear A Rhapsody"                                   8. "If You Could See Me Now"
9. "Too Marvelous For Words"                       10. "It Never Entered My Mind" 

I have attached a "YouTube" of two songs from this CD, "This Can't Be Love" and A wonderful version of the Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhdorn and John La Touche classic, "Day Dream". 




CD Review: Stephane Spira :New Playground"

Stephane Spira Saxophonist and Composer Stephane Spira's success has not come easily or quickly.  Stephane is self-taught while...