Tom 1960

Jimmy Hamilton

17 posts in this topic

I've been listening to an Oscar Pettiford session which features Jimmy Hamilton on clarinet. Some very nice playing here. Of course he played many years with Duke. Recorded some sessions on his own. I was wondering what are some of your favorite recordings which feature Jimmy Hamilton? Look forward to reading your thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucky Thompson's October 1954 sessions for Urania which resulted in his Accent on tenor LP would be some of my favourite Jimmy Hamilton along with Duke's Newport set from 1956. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am partial to his 2 Prestige/Swingville dates reissued on this disc:

411AlX4Zs0L.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like him on tenor, like on the Circus Train Turnaround thing or whatever it was called. That & "Rock City Rock". For Clarinet, "Ad Lib on Nippon", not as much for content as for bringing that thing the way it had to be brought. A little either way and it would not have had the gravitas it did. Same thing with "Blue Silk" on Afro-Bossa, just the right weight, not too much, not too little.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Prestige two-fer, and it's ok, but for some reason, I've just never been able to become a fan of his clarinet playing (as Duke certainly was!).  I know this is going to sound silly to some--and boy is it just *my* opinion--but I just never thought he could swing.

 

gregmo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JSngry said:

I like him on tenor, like on the Circus Train Turnaround thing or whatever it was called. That & "Rock City Rock". For Clarinet, "Ad Lib on Nippon", not as much for content as for bringing that thing the way it had to be brought. A little either way and it would not have had the gravitas it did. Same thing with "Blue Silk" on Afro-Bossa, just the right weight, not too much, not too little.

 

:tup on "Ad Lib on Nippon" - a tour de force

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎-‎4‎-‎2016 at 11:41 PM, Chuck Nessa said:

I am partial to his 2 Prestige/Swingville dates reissued on this disc:

411AlX4Zs0L.jpg

That's also my favorite Hamilton recording !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I share the opinion that his tenor playing is more to my taste. The Prestige session that Chuck mentioned is one I especially like.

Hamilton's clarinet playing generally sounded more like a "legit" style player. It (with a few exceptions) lacked the jazz feeling that I hear in other clarinet players I like.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I scratched my bean about Hamilton:  classical clarinet, gut-bucket tenor.  Why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One for each ear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JSngry said:

One for each ear.

both pretty good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But seriously also - why would a guy retire from the road, keep practicing, and end up doing those Clarinet Summit things with John Carter, Alvin Batiste, and David Murray? Maybe because he was the type of guy who was both deeply secure and deeply curious?

If so, let us not puzzle over what Jimmy Hamilton was not, let us enjoy what he did, The Many Ears Of Jimmy Hamilton. Duke had Russell Procope, but Russell Procope was not gonna be the go-to guy for "Air Conditioned Jungle", nor to lead the section on "Pretty & The Wolf", and if Duke wanted some of that Al Sears type tenor, hey, he had that too, and oh by the way, check out the gigs where they did "Perdido" with the two tenors on top, Jimmy & Paul in unison playing that Clark Terry line, don't tell me that Jimmy Hamilton didn't swing, you get two unison tenors, if one of 'em don't swing, you'll hear it without having to go look for it.

Think about it - the guy spent a few decades as a key voice - a very singular voice, actually, you ALWAYS know it's Jimmy Hamilton - at the service of one of the most fertile minds/environments of the 20th century. Hamilton, Procope, & Carney...if you heard clarinet in all the ways Duke did, hell, what did you NOT have at your disposal with those three?

Jimmy Hamilton was a pretty deep musician, I think. Not a "jam session" mind, but a true servant to the music(s) he engaged, a servant to no man, but to all music.

 

And kudos for gentlemanliness in the face of obvious personal distaste when Paul fell asleep. That, ladies AND gentlemen, was above and beyond, and it is also what a professional would have no choice but to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I liked Procope's clarinet playing a lot better, but Jimmy tended to get all the spots.

 

 

gregmo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Hamilton's playing on both instruments. What a palette Duke had to paint with!

The twofer that Chuck posted is very good. I like many performances with Duke, none really stand out as he was consistently excellent.

Edited by jazzbo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On April 5, 2016 at 1:13 PM, Clunky said:

Lucky Thompson's October 1954 sessions for Urania which resulted in his Accent on tenor LP would be some of my favourite Jimmy Hamilton along with Duke's Newport set from 1956. 

That Lucky LP is a great one. Hamilton really shines on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.