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Across The Tracks

Scott Hamilton

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Album Review

A project long in the making, Across the Tracks finds tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton pairing with journeyman blues guitarist Duke Robillard for a set of burnished lesser-known standards, ballads, and blues. As Rhode Island natives, Hamilton and Robillard crossed paths early on in their careers, with the younger Hamilton drawing inspiration for his own straight-ahead jazz from Robillard's brand of vintage swing, blues, and R&B. Subsequently, Hamilton cut out a niche for himself in the '70s playing swinging acoustic standards and ballads while many jazz musicians were focused on the electric fusion sound. Although the pair have recorded together over the years, Across the Tracks is the first full-length album they've done together. Joining them here are such longtime bandmates as drummer Chuck Riggs, baritone saxophonist Doug James, and Pittsburgh native organist Gene Ludwig. Recorded by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder at the famous Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ, Across the Tracks is easily the bluesiest album Hamilton has done in his career and a warm, earthy vibe permeates the whole proceedings.

Biography

Born: 12 September 1954 in Providence, RI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

When Scott Hamilton appeared in the mid-'70s fully formed with an appealing swing style on tenor (mixing together Zoot Sims and Ben Webster), he caused a minor sensation, for few other young players during the fusion era were exploring pre-bop jazz at his high level. He began playing when he was 16 and developed quickly, moving to New York in 1976. Hamilton played with Benny Goodman in the late '70s, but he has mostly performed as a leader, sometimes sharing the spotlight with Warren Vache, Ruby...
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Across the Tracks, Scott Hamilton
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