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Nocturnes and Serenades

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Album Review

The black-and-white cover photo of a neon-lit street harks back to an earlier era on Scott Hamilton's Nocturnes & Serenades. Depending on the viewer, it may conjure up images of the jazz clubs lining the street in 1940s New York, or perhaps classic film noir. Either way, the photo and title promise the kind of lazy, romantic jazz that pours from tiny, smoke-filled rooms at three a.m. to an audience of three. This isn't surprising, due to tenor Hamilton's rep as a committed neo-traditionalist. The 55-minute set kicks off with a fine, relaxed take on "Man with a Horn," with Hamilton's resonant, silky sax work outlining the contours of the piece. Hamilton is joined on Nocturnes & Serenades by pianist John Pearce, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Steve Brown. Pearce and Hamilton's gentle styles mingle well on "Man with a Horn" and on the follow-up, "Autumn Nocturne," while Green and Brown anchor the mellow pacing. With perhaps one exception ("By the River Sainte Marie"), Hamilton and his bandmates maintain a dreamy, late-night groove. Save for the recording technology, this could've been recorded in the '40s, and mainstream jazz fans, well aware of Hamilton's work, will appreciate Nocturnes & Serenades' connection with the past. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


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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Nocturnes and Serenades, Scott Hamilton
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