NEW RELEASE – SCOTT HAMILTON
Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophone), Rein de Graaff (piano), Marius Beets (bass), Eric Ineke (drums)
on December 3, 2004 at De Tor, Enschede, The Netherlands
as Timeless 47448 in 2023
Easy To Love
After You’re Gone
Pennies From Heaven
Iremember buying Hamilton’s The Grand Appearance not too long ago, one of his first records featuring Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan. I was struck again by his beautiful sound and authentic conception. Back then, in 1979, the tenor saxophonist was quite the sensation in the jazz realm, a cat that seemingly came out of nowhere to conjure up the spirits of Lester Young, Chu Berry, Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. His association with Roy Eldridge and Benny Goodman kickstarted a fruitful career on both sides of the Atlantic and in jazz-crazed Japan and South Korea.
Hamilton always relied on the best rhythm sections in Europe, notably the Rein de Graaff Trio. (Coincidentally, Hamilton gigged in Holland just last month with another good group featuring bassist Hans Mantel and drummer/vibist Frits Landesbergen) Proof of Hamilton’s excellent pairing with the De Graaff Trio is 2013’s Live At The Jazzroom in Breda. Live At The Tor in Enschede is a great follow-up featuring the same group with drummer Marius Beets and drummer Eric Ineke.
To be sure, it is actually a prequel, recorded in 2004 at one of the finest and longest-running clubs in The Netherlands, far away from the central Western area of Dutch jazz, close to the border of Germany. The band is captured in full glory, courtesy of bassist/engineer Marius Beets.
Eric Ineke says: “With a great swinger like Scott you have nothing to do except for laying down a light swinging carpet. But as easy as it seems it is never boring because Scott is always interactive. He has a choice of the best standards and he knows so many tunes. The audience loves him.” (The Ultimate Sideman, FM)
Appropriate. And he has a sound as enjoyable as a bite of the best Shepherd’s Pie in the vicinity, phrasing as satisfying as a stroll through the streets of Siracusa. Evidently a joy to back up, as one can hear on Live At De Tor. Hamilton and his men dig up Easy To Love, Old Folks, Tangerine, After You’re Gone, Pennies From Heaven and relish Hamilton’s own variation on I Got Rhythm, named Rhythm Riff. De Graaff’s rock solid trio is perfect foil for Hamilton, who keeps ‘traditional’ things interesting with abundance of ideas and balanced story developments from warm showers to boiling point.
A couple of spoilers: Rhythm Riff and After You’re Gone have a jubilant Kansas City vibe. Tangerine showcases De Graaff’s beautiful long and bar-stretching lines. The audience feels inclined to join in with the lyrics of Pennies From Heaven, the album’s exquisite closing tune. Finally, Hamilton quotes I Got Rhythm three times throughout his performance on that winter evening in the ‘Far East’.
The latter’s an example of timeless playfulness during a top-notch live session of rather timeless mainstream jazz.
Scott Hamilton & the Rein de Graaff Trio
Find the Japanese release of Live At De Tor here. According to Rein de Graaff, Timeless will release it for the Western market in 2024.