Scott Hamilton & Friends – Blues, Bop & Ballads {Concord}

Review by Ken Dryden (

Big-toned tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton leads a swinging small group session that concentrates mostly on songs that didn’t receive much attention in the 1990s. “Answer Me (My Love)” is a potent ballad feature for the leader that reveals the influence of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, while Hamilton also has fun with lively riff tunes like his own “Rhythm Riff #127,” and Hawkins’ “Stuffy.” Trumpeter Greg Gisbert is outstanding throughout the date, while trombonist Joel Helleny and guitarist Duke Robillard only appear on three tracks each, but make valuable contributions with their solos. This delightful CD stands up well to repeated listening, and is one of Scott Hamilton’s best recordings.

01 – I Mean You
02 – Blue Harlem
03 – Rhythm Riff #127
04 – Skylark
05 – Wabash
06 – Fish Market
07 – Answer Me (My Love)
08 – Stuffy
09 – Smile
10 – Good Bait

Scott Hamilton – tenor saxophone
Greg Gisbert – trumpet
Joel Helleny – trombone (tracks 3, 5 & 6)
Norman Simmons – piano
Dennis Irwin – bass
Chuck Riggs – drums
Duke Robillard – guitar (tracks 2, 3 & 6)

Recorded at Sony Music Studios, New York City; February 23-24, 1999

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Scott Hamilton – My Romance {Concord}

Review by Scott Yanow (

Tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton has recorded so many records as a leader (this CD is his 27th for Concord so far) and been so consistent and unchanging through the years that it is difficult to describe any of his records as definitive. However this particular release is one of his stronger ones of recent times. Hamilton sounds quite inspired jamming on six standards, Blue Mitchell’s “Blue Caper,” two of Norman Simmons’ originals and his own blues “Sugarchile” with a quintet consisting of the talented trombonist Joel Helleny, pianist Simmons, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Chuck Riggs. Hamilton takes the title cut as a feature and duets with Simmons on a brief “Just A Gigolo;” otherwise the full group is heard on each song. The biggest surprise of this high-quality mainstream date is an uptempo version of the ballad “Poor Butterfly.” The presence of a second horn seems to really push Scott Hamilton to play at his best, making this an easily recommended release.

01 – Abundance
02 – Blue Caper
03 – Swingin’ Till the Girls Come Home
04 – My Romance
05 – Lullaby in Rhythm
06 – Will You Still Be Mine?
07 – Poor Butterfly
08 – Sugarchile
09 – Jan
10 – Just a Gigolo

Scott Hamilton – tenor saxophone
Norman Simmons – piano
Dennis Irwin – bass (except on #10)
Chuck Riggs – drums (except on #10)
Joel Helleny – trombone (except on #4 & 10)

Recorded at Sound on Sound, New York, NY; February 23, 1995

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork