KJ Video

Scott Hamilton/Harry Allen Quintet featuring Rossano Sportiello; Thursday, February 20, 2014

Scott Hamilton/Harry Allen Quintet featuring Rossano Sportiello
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

“A first-rate jazz soloist who never disappoints.” — Jazz Times 

Scott Hamilton takes his inspiration from the pre-Coltrane era saxophone greats: Ben Webster, Zoot Sims, and Don Byas. His dedication to the swing era sound finds an equal partner in fellow tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. Hamilton was a lone maverick in the late ’70s, evoking the swing tradition at a time when the electric fusion of jazz and funk was in vogue. Swimming against the tide, a persistent Hamilton carved out a niche for himself, foreshadowing the arrival of the “Young Lions” retro-movement yet to come in the early ’80s. Scott’s concerts are a rarity to be savored, and his current quintet with Harry Allen makes the old sound like brand new.

Born in 1954, in Providence, Rhode Island, Scott Hamilton grew up listening to his father’s jazz collection. Musically precocious, he started learning to play drums at five years of age, followed by piano, harmonica, and clarinet. Mostly self-taught, except for the clarinet, it wasn’t until his mid-teens that Scott turned to the saxophone as his main instrument. A fan of Johnny Hodges (Duke Ellington’s alto saxophonist), Hamilton eschewed modern jazz in favor of the swing era greats. Luckily, he found an early mentor in trumpet giant Roy Eldridge. A demanding teacher, Eldridge provided valuable advice to Scott at a critical time in his musical development, as well as a pathway to working with the top echelon of jazz royalty. Hamilton’s formidable talent as an improviser landed him gigs with Anita O’Day, Illinois Jacquet, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan, Flip Phillips, and Ruby Braff. By age 23, he was headlining his own groups. Concord Records signed him the same year, a move that resulted in a long and prolific recording career.

Now based in Italy – after having lived in London for several years – Hamilton continues to champion swing-era stylings with his full, fluid, tenor saxophone sound, and the experience of a sure-footed veteran, totally in command of the music. And he also continues to tour internationally on a regular basis, headlining at numerous clubs and jazz festivals in Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Japan, Spain, and Italy. For Scott, the heritage of the swing tradition remains a rich vein to be mined for it’s inventive expressiveness. Not only does he keep the torch lit for the melodicism of the great jazz standards, but he pushes the creative envelope in a way that maintains the swing era’s relevancy for today’s audiences. Together, with Harry Allen, Scott Hamilton’s current quintet is one of the best he’s ever had and one of the best you’ll ever hear.

Scott Hamilton/Harry Allen Quintet featuring Rossano Sportiello

DATE:  Thursday, February 20, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $25/Adv $30/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Daniel Smith
(415) 742-4385

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