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Review: Great American Songs: Through The Years

Jeff Hamilton Trio, Great American Songs: Through the Years, Capri Records ***1/2

The ex-Monty Alexander drummer here with his long-running trio featuring Petersonite pianist Tamir Hendelman and Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra bassist Christoph Luty the pivot whose lovely arco intro enlivens ‘The More I See You.’

Recorded in a North Hollywood studio in January 2013 the Great American songs in question – great as in “Great American Songbook”, as well, as, simply great – are: ‘Falling In Love With You’; ‘Tenderly’; ‘The More I See You’; ‘It Could Happen To You’; ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’; ‘Thou Swell’; ‘You Took Advantage Of Me’; ‘I Thought About You’; ‘All Or Nothing At All’; and ‘How Long Has This Been Going On.’

 If you’re looking for orthodox but still unbuttoned modern mainstream piano jazz  – think Oscar Peterson 1961 album The Trio for rough signposting to the sound (that trio caught live around that time above) – with all the important elements in place: timing, swing, a sense of joy and loving respect for the material and traditions of the music, then look no further.

– Stephen Graham

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