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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Live in Bern

CAPRI #74139



Hamilton & Hamilton Live in Bern
Al Dubin and Harry WARREN September in the Rain [4:54]
Cole PORTER All through the Night [5:45]
Michel LEGRAND Watch What Happens [5:15]
Mal WALDRON Soul Eyes [4:48]
Richard ROGERS This canít be Love [5:10]
W Benton OVERSTREET Thereíll be some changes made [3:50]
Jeff HAMILTON Sybilleís Day [5:22]
Benny CARTER Key Largo [6:23]
Dizzy GILLESPIE Woody ín You [7:19]
Alan HENSHAW The Champ [4:20]
Billy STRAYHORN Ballad for very tired and very sad Lotus Eaters [3:58]
Arthur SCHWARTZ You and the Night and the Music [5:22]
Harry EDISON Centerpiece [6:24]
Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophonist)
Jeff Hamilton Trio (Jeff Hamilton [drummer], Christof Lufty [bassist] and Tamir Hendelman [piano])
rec. Marians Jazzroom, Bern, 18 May 2014.
CAPRI RECORDS 74139-2 [67:49] Ė subscribers stream from Qobuz.

I donít often venture outside the classical sphere in reviewing for MusicWeb-International and when I do recommend a jazz recording itís usually something tried and tested, though occasionally I branch out to make a Ďdiscoveryí as a tailpiece to Download News.

In a sense this album is a discovery since it represents the first time that Scott Hamilton has come together with the Jeff Hamilton Trio, though they have recorded for the same label.† The recording arose from a live session together at Marians Jazzroom in Bern, though itís something of a misnomer to include the word Ďliveí in the title: I understand that the recording sessions took place several days after the live concert.

The music is all straight and easy and thatís the way that I like it Ė ideal for last night listening as a change from the likes of Late Night Brubeck.† (If that were an LP Iíd have worn it out, the number of times that my wife asks to play it.)†

The programme is all from old favourite composers apart from Jeff Hamiltonís own Sybilleís Day and thatís pretty straight and easy, too Ė and very enjoyable. Itís the kind of music that the sax was made for and I canít imagine it being played any better.† Scott Hamilton is a most accomplished player and heís very well supported here all round.† As Tony Augarde aptly put it in reviewing another Scott Hamilton recording, he has perfected the art of playing with the emphasis on melody and beauty of sound Ė review Ė and thatís just right for me.† If I have to nominate a favourite number, I recommend that you sample Billy Strayhornís Ballad for very tired and very sad Lotus Eaters (track 11).

The last thing that I want to suggest is that this album is predictable but you wonít find anything here to shake you to your foundations.† One of the other offerings for review this month was the latest album from Sun-Ra: A joyful Noise.† Sorry, thatís not for me.† Nor, I have to say, is the very successful and critically hailed series of recordings which Jan Garbarek made with the Hilliard Ensemble for ECM, with solo sax winding its mournful way through renaissance vocal music and folk music (Officium, Officium Novum Ė review Ė and Mnemosyme).† Itís very beautiful but it leaves me feeling depressed whereas this new recording leaves me with a feeling of enjoyment and content.

The recording is good Ė close but not too close.† The streamed version to which I listened, and even its download equivalent, come without the booklet, so I canít comment on that: the details that Iíve given were all gleaned online.† Even without the booklet, however, I shall be listening to this album quite often.

Brian Wilson

See also review by Tony Augarde and Stephen Greenbank

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