Another excellent jazz album in the trio format has slid across my listening desk. The Jeff Hamilton Trio play jazz in the classic standard tradition. The new album is Red Sparkle and sparkle this album does. Jeff Hamilton (drums) is backed by two fine musicians; Christoph Luty (bass) and Tamir Hendelman (piano).
The band's passionate arrangements and tasty all around playing make Red Sparkle essential listening for jazz fans. Starting with the breezy "Ain't that A Peach", an ode to trumpeter Snooky Young", the trio's subtle swinging groove and consummate playing will put a smile on your face.
The trio also delves into a few covers putting their own unique spin on the arrangements. Thelonius Monk's "Bye Ya" is a prime example. Hamilton and Luty set the tone with their salsa inflected groove while Hendelman's piano flourishes are pure class.
Perhaps my favourite song is a stellar rendition of Stephen Bishop's gorgeous ballad "On and On". Hendelman's piano keeps the original melody intact while still adding his own restrained touch to his gently flowing lines.
There are ten songs on Red Sparkle and not one of them is a dud. While this is a total band effort Hamilton is an excellent leader with his smooth unique style; playing with tremendous depth and feeling.
Red Sparkle is a shining example of classy and accessible jazz that no jazz fan should be without. The ear catching melodies are spot on and in my book this one's a winner. Released on Capri Records.
1. Ain't That A Peach
2. Bye Ya
3. On and On
4. Hat's Dance
5. Too Marvelous For Words
7. A Sleepin' Bee
8. Red Sparkle
9. I Know You Oh So Well
10. In An Ellington
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