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Album Review

Bob Hamilton has paid his musical dues by recording on a number of different albums of R&B and disco as a sideman, though his first love has long been jazz. This Capri CD is evidently his long awaited opportunity to record as a leader and the pianist takes full advantage by playing a stunning trio set in the studio with bassist Jeff D'Angelo and drummer Duncan Moore. Seven of the nine selections are originals by the leader, starting with the wild opener, "Albino Frankie," a blazing Latin 24-bar blues. "Isabella's Invention" was inspired by a simple riff by Hamilton's daughter, which he expanded into an infectious brisk samba featuring D'Angelo's superb solo followed by the composer's. The trio's inspired interpretation of Wayne Shorter's "Lester Left Town" (long a staple for Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers) explores new territory in this hard bop favorite by focusing on its rhythm rather than having to rely on horns as do most interpretations. Victor Young's "Love Letters" is a beautiful standard that has long since fallen out of favor with jazz groups, though Hamilton's thoughtful arrangement could very well revive this chestnut. Bob Hamilton's jazz debut on CD is long overdue and this outstanding session should merit future recording projects coming his way.

WixWax, Bob Hamilton Trio
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