August 01, 2006
Concord Jazz
Jazz, Standards, Mainstream Jazz, Neo-Bop, Saxophone Jazz, Jazz Instrument

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

Track Listing

  1. Man with a Horn
  2. Autumn Nocturne
  3. Flamingo
  4. I'm Glad There Is You
  5. Serenade in Blue
  6. Isn't It a Pity
  7. You Go to My Head
  8. Chelsea Bridge
  9. By the River Sainte Marie
  10. A Portrait of Jenny
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