1. I Just Found Out about Love
2. Sweet and Lovely
3. Jitterbug Waltz
4. If I Had You
5. Zoot’s Blues
6. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
Scott Hamilton – Tenor sax
John Pearce – Piano
Dave Green – Double bass
Steve Brown - Drums
Scott Hamilton has perfected an art which, in recent
years, seemed in danger of disappearing. This is playing jazz with
the emphasis on melody and beauty of sound. No playing a thousand
notes a minute; no sheets of sound; no discords for no reason. Like
his fellow tenorist Harry Allen, Scott owes quite a lot to the smooth
style of Coleman Hawkins which was developed by such graceful saxists
as Stan Getz, although Scott - and Harry – are their own men.
Hamilton is an American but he seems to have taken permanent root in Britain. He has appeared with his quartet at the Pizza Express in London’s Dean Street
for several residencies every year since the mid-1980s. This album was recorded there on 4 January 2012, with the rhythm section he has worked with since
The members of the quartet know each other well by now, and
they have developed an enviable empathy. Pianist John Pearce, in particular,
fits in perfectly with Scott Hamilton’s often unpredictable twists.
Dave Green is probably the best bassist in the country, as he proves
on this CD – and we get to hear several well-constructed bass solos.
Drummer Steve Brown has a masterly technique, although he hasn’t quite
mastered the “beauty of sound” mentioned above, as some of his drums
A highlight of the album is Fats Waller’s Jitterbug Waltz, which ends with an unaccompanied sax cadenza that leads into a reprise of the melody
and an edge-of-the-seat climax. But every track is worth savouring, with Hamilton’s elegant sax creating new melodies from jazz standards, while three of
the best musicians in the business back him up with appropriate accompaniment and interesting solos. Very nice.