HARRY ALLEN AND SCOTT HAMILTON, ROUND MIDNIGHT


Two warmly expressive traditionalists, tenor saxophonists Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton have hundreds of credits and dozens of solo albums between them. They even have their own solo Christmas records. Joining forces for the uplifting and unapologetically swinging ‘Round Midnight, these chums rally a superb rhythm section comprised of pianist Rossano Sportiello, bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Chuck Riggs on a tasty set list of jazz standards and pop tunes inspired by the music that Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Illinois Jacquet played in the 40’s. For Allen and Hamilton, this is their third recording together, they’ve often been likened to the duo of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims whose playing styles are less boastful and more supportive of one another. From the outset, the blended horns of Allen and Hamilton have an energizing fluidity and when underscored by their sizzling rhythm section, you’ll be hard-pressed from sitting still.

Having played with Johnny Hodges and Benny Goodman prior to establishing an esteemed solo career, Hamilton has chops and an established tone that’s among the smoothest in the swing style, and it’s heard to great effect on his countless recordings for the Concord Jazz label in the 80’s and 90’s. Along with the estimable Harry Allen, very much Hamilton’s equal, the pair has performed together for many years to hone a blended sound with meticulous precision that’s played to perfection on tracks by Eddie Davis (“Hey Lock!”) Bill Pott’s upbeat “The Opener,” and a sterling Allen original, “Great Scott.” It’s easy to appreciate the lush harmonics and classic styling on display – even the hoary melody of “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” receives an endearing bossa nova arrangement filled with dazzlingly counterpoint and complemented with finger snapping accompaniment by the masterful Italian pianist Sportiello. Notably, recordings released by Challenge Records are engineered to perfection and this one sounds just as spectacular. (9 tracks; 66 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: HARRY ALLEN AND SCOTT HAMILTON, ROUND MIDNIGHT

Thursday, May 2, 2013

HARRY ALLEN AND SCOTT HAMILTON, ROUND MIDNIGHT


Two warmly expressive traditionalists, tenor saxophonists Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton have hundreds of credits and dozens of solo albums between them. They even have their own solo Christmas records. Joining forces for the uplifting and unapologetically swinging ‘Round Midnight, these chums rally a superb rhythm section comprised of pianist Rossano Sportiello, bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Chuck Riggs on a tasty set list of jazz standards and pop tunes inspired by the music that Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Illinois Jacquet played in the 40’s. For Allen and Hamilton, this is their third recording together, they’ve often been likened to the duo of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims whose playing styles are less boastful and more supportive of one another. From the outset, the blended horns of Allen and Hamilton have an energizing fluidity and when underscored by their sizzling rhythm section, you’ll be hard-pressed from sitting still.

Having played with Johnny Hodges and Benny Goodman prior to establishing an esteemed solo career, Hamilton has chops and an established tone that’s among the smoothest in the swing style, and it’s heard to great effect on his countless recordings for the Concord Jazz label in the 80’s and 90’s. Along with the estimable Harry Allen, very much Hamilton’s equal, the pair has performed together for many years to hone a blended sound with meticulous precision that’s played to perfection on tracks by Eddie Davis (“Hey Lock!”) Bill Pott’s upbeat “The Opener,” and a sterling Allen original, “Great Scott.” It’s easy to appreciate the lush harmonics and classic styling on display – even the hoary melody of “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” receives an endearing bossa nova arrangement filled with dazzlingly counterpoint and complemented with finger snapping accompaniment by the masterful Italian pianist Sportiello. Notably, recordings released by Challenge Records are engineered to perfection and this one sounds just as spectacular. (9 tracks; 66 minutes)

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