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Scott Hamilton & Jeff Hamilton: Live in Bern

- CD Reviews

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Scott Hamilton & Jeff Hamilton: Live in Bern

Scott Hamilton on Tenor Saxophone
Jeff Hamilton on Drums
Tamir Hendelman on Piano
Christof Luty on Bass


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 22, 2016

This CD is a rare Scott Hamilton – Jeff Hamilton duo recording. When, in spring 2014, both Hamiltons (“honorary” brothers) were performing at the International Jazzfestival Bern, Switzerland, they joined forces to record all 13 tracks in Marians Jazzroom in Bern, for Capri Records. The result is a stunning selection of renowned and lesser known standards, with Jeff Hamilton on drums, Scott Hamilton on tenor sax, Tamir Hendelman on piano, and Christof Luty on bass. Scott’s tenor sings and swings through the melodic tunes, with Tamir improvising interludes in the enchanting themes. Jeff and Christof add both ambient rhythms and impressive percussion and bass solos. Tunes range from the Dubin/Warren “September in the Rain” to the Alan Hawkshaw “The Champ”.

Notable tracks:

#5– This Can’t Be Love – Composed by Richard Rodgers. This popular standard opens with Scott leading on smooth sax, throughout most of the track. Christof’s ebullient bass swings with jiving rhythm, as Jeff’s drums strike vibrant tempos. The bass led the tune’s second time around, as Christof plucked the strings playfully. Tamir’s piano took a brief solo, before handing the theme back to the sax. It was apparent that this quartet was enjoying this rare moment in Bern. As an aside, I’ve been twice to Bern, and its ambiance lends itself to energized musicality.

#6 – There’ll Be Some Changes Made – Composed by W. Benton Overstreet. This Savoy swing-infused, rambunctious track opens and closes with a gorgeous duet, with both Hamiltons in charge on sax and drums. In fact, the first duet travels over the first minute of the track. In between, piano and bass share the energized momentum, with a four-instrument blended theme, gorgeous to listen to, effervescent in style. You’ll know you’re being serenaded by pros, when you play this album. A glass of champagne would serve you well in the moment.

#9 – Woody N’ You – Composed by Dizzy Gillespie. This vivacious track opens with Jeff’s drum solo, followed by the quartet reminding the listener that none other than Gillespie could have written this pulsating music. Christof’s lengthy bass solo is accompanied by soft brushes and Tamir’s keys. Although Scott’s sax was showcased with splendor, the piano solo whirled in dervish speed. This arrangement enhanced everyone, with electrically charged tempos. Dizzy would be delighted.

#12 – You and the Night and the Music – Composed by Arthur Schwartz. This blissful ballad opens with piano and soft brushes, followed by a singing sax that carries the tantalizing, romantic tune. A lovely bass solo, accompanied by light keys, floats into the sax-led theme, then piano-led theme, that merges with Scott Hamilton’s sax once more. In the finale, Jeff Hamilton’s drums add flourish.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at