Half Notes: Jeff Hamilton Trio – Red Sparkle (2012)

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As with the Symbiosis album that it follows, Red Sparkle is a Jeff Hamilton small combo setting where its drummer leader can make his presence known without having to be overbearing. That’s because he’s a master stylist behind the kit, whether he’s swinging on “Ain’t That A Peach” or “Too Marvelous For Words” (video of live performance below), applying nifty brush work on the samba he made out of Thelonius Monk’s “Bye Ya,” or executing a sublime light tom-tom and cymbal touch to a wonderfully re-imagining of Stephen Bishop’s old pop hit “On And On.” And then there’s the fun, hearty groove he lays down on the title cut and the funky, loose groove on “In An Ellingtone” that calls to mind another Hamilton drummer: Chico. As the co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Hamilton brings his big band sound with him with style and grace no matter the song. Once again supported handily by Tamir Hendelman (piano) and Christoph Luty (bass), Red Sparkle has everything in it we liked about Symbiosis.

Red Sparkle will go on sale February 21 by Capri Records.

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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