East of the Sun

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Concord
WORKS: jazz
PERFORMER: Scott Hamilton (ts); Brian Lemon (p); Dave Green (b); Allan Ganley (d)
CATALOGUE NO: CCD-4583

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Although now nearly 40, Scott Hamilton still tends to be regarded as something of a young jazz fogey, eschewing as he does the blandish-ments of modernism – electricity, free playing, spiritual questing – in favour of the legacy of the likes of Ben Webster and Don Byas. Certainly, he has ploughed an extremely straight mainstream furrow since signing for Concord in his twenties: this is just the latest of a series of polished, sophisticated albums he’s produced for the label.

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Hamilton’s favourite UK rhythm section provides the discreetly propulsive backing; the result is a smooth, honey-toned, warm recording, equal to anything he has yet produced, with the possible exception of the delightful Radio City. Hamilton will never win prizes for innovation, but as a purveyor of flawless, mature-toned tenor saxophone playing, he is simply unrivalled. Chris Parker