The two-set concert featured Hamilton's intricate arrangements of jazz standards, a few tunes that he based on the chord changes of other hits, and a handful of originals. While Hamilton is a fine, inventive trombonist, his mastery as an arranger was on full display from start to finish.
Every tune included intricate voicings for the band's blend of horns, piano, bass and drums. At various times they included unison playing, sophisticated counterpoint reminiscent of the Gerry Mulligan-Bob Brookmeyer collaborations, and segments where two horns provided complementing or contrasting fill behind the solo horn.
Hamilton's superb teammates for this lively event included Jim Martin on trumpet and flugelhorn, Rodney Rojas on tenor and alto sax (subbing for the band's usual reed player, Bill Carmichael), Matt Bokulic on piano, John DeWitt on bass and the clever, laid-back drummer Johnny Moore. Martin and Hamilton have been playing jazz together since 1950 when they were students at Sarasota Junior High School.
|Collaborators since 1950|
"Samson and Delilah"); the band's take on "Misty" (performed as an uptempo jazz samba rather than the melancholy feel of the original ballad); an unusual rearrangement of fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose" (which Hamilton recast as "Contrapuckle Rose"); and a version of "Prelude to a Kiss" that featured the beautiful blend of flugelhorn, tenor sax and trombone.
Other jazz standards included "Love For Sale," "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Walkin'," "Skylark" and "WhereAre You." Hamilton also shared originals that he based on the chord changes to "Getting Sentimental Over You" and "How Deep is the Ocean?"
Two standout Hamilton originals included the funky groove of "D&P," which he said he wrote for a 60-second Old Milwaukee beer commercial, and the somewhat raucous "So's Your Old Man." Dick Hamilton's West Coast Jazz Sextet rode off into the sunset with an instrumental version of "Tumbling Tumbleweed" filled with the leader's clever and sometimes humorous arranging touches.
|Bokulic, Rojas, Martin, Hamilton, DeWitt, Moore|
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