Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton: Groovin' High

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Scott Hamilton appears with a locally based rhythm section during this 1981 appearance at the long-defunct Atlanta nightclub E.J.'s which, like other recordings released on the E.J. label, was recorded without the artist's knowledge. Hamilton is in great form throughout the evening, particularly in a playful take of Duke Ellington's "Sultry Serenade." The rhythm section includes pianist Johnny O'Neal and bassist Dewey Sampson (whose sound is muddy at times due to poor microphone placement); though James Martin is listed as the drummer, Hamilton clearly introduces Steve Ellington on drums at the end of one number. Fellow tenor saxophonist Rick Bell joins Hamilton for "I Remember April," "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," and "Lester Leaps In," the latter featuring a lively quote-filled solo by O'Neal. In spite of the sound distortion caused by the less-than-professional recording, the music is memorable, sticking mostly to standards and jazz classics. The E.J. label is no longer in existence, though it is possible that this two-CD set may reappear in condensed form on a single disc in the future, as Storyville has done with several other titles in this series.

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