1. You Make Me Feel So Young
2. Midnight Sun
4. Fascinating Rhythm
5. Blues for Junior
6. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
7. Samba de Martelo
8. Blues in the Night
9. The Serpent's Tooth
Jeff Hamilton - Drums
Tamir Hendelman - Piano
Christoph Luty - Bass
Drummer Jeff Hamilton has played in piano trios led by the likes
of Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander and Ray Brown, but here he leads
his own trio. They have been playing together for several years and
they are all members of the band co-led by Hamilton with John Clayton.
As the leader of the trio, Jeff Hamilton might be expected to take
a lot of the limelight, but in fact he stays in the background for
much of the time. The result is a piano trio which closely resembles
other famous piano trios like those of Oscar Peterson, with the pianist
assuming prominence and the drummer being allowed only a few moments
This isn't to imply that Jeff Hamilton is not an integral member
of the group. He simply keeps his light under a bushel and doesn't
monopolise the CD. The result is virtually a conventional piano trio
album, with a mixture of well-chosen jazz standards and lesser-known
tunes like Claus Ogerman's title-track and one original - Samba
de Martelo by Jeff Hamilton.
Jeff ensures that the music swings strongly, and the trio breathes
new life into old songs like Fascinating Rhythm (note Jeff's
subtle use of brushes and the driving rhythm he sets up with bassist
Christoph Luty) and Midnight Sun - a gorgeous tune which ought
to be heard more often. On the latter, Hamilton provides rhythm by
playing the drums with his hands instead of sticks.
Jeff stays in the background for the title-track but he gets a solo
with brushes on the dynamic Fascinating Rhythm. The trio lopes
along in relaxed style on Ray Brown's Blues for Junior. Tamir
Hendelman's piano solo here is very reminiscent of Oscar Peterson,
while Christoph Luty's walking bass does Ray Brown proud.
Luty introduces Polka Dots and Moonbeams with an arco statement
before Hendelman plays and develops the tune with deep sensitivity.
Hamilton does a lot of soloing on his own Samba de Martelo,
clearly reveling in the Latin rhythm.
Blues in the Night features the bassist, who states the melody
with his bow and then solos in the same way, ending with a long, flowery
coda. Miles Davis's The Serpent's Tooth opens with a muscular
solo from Jeff Hamilton. It is a speedy flagwaver, with a half-tempo
middle eight and an accelerating last eight bars - but only in the
first and last choruses. Jeff gets a chance to show off at the drums,
which he does with aplomb.
Drummers, pianists and bassists may be different animals but symbiosis
means different organisms living together for their mutual benefit.
Listeners can certainly benefit from the symbiosis between these three