Monterey Jazz Festival Review Features Jeff Hamilton!
Excerpt from: Monterey Jazz Festival 2017: Story of Some Grooves by Andrew Gilbert
‘Opening Saturday evening’s Main Arena action, the premiere of John Clayton’s “Stories of a Groove: Conception, Evolution, Celebration” was the festival’s centerpiece. Having seen just about every commissioned work since Monterey’s artistic director, Tim Jackson, reinstated the program in 1994, “Stories of a Groove” surpassed all expectations. The bassist offered a brief emotional roadmap to the eight-movement piece, making it clear he was responding to the divisive political climate. A sense of anger and dismay came through clearly on “Tidal Wave” and “Slow Burn Baby Burn,” but what was most striking about the piece was the way he effectively melded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Gerald Clayton Trio. With the orchestra’s Tamir Hendelman, on keyboards, playing unison lines with Gerald’s piano, and several drum duets between Jeff Hamilton and Obed Calvaire, the two ensembles worked as one, roaring and whispering into a spiritually charged duet for Gerald and his uncle, alto saxophonist Jeff Clayton.’