When one has jazz drummer Jeff Hamilton as a high school classmate, becoming a fan of jazz was inevitable. Back in the 1970s we all knew Jeff was something special and headed for greatness. Hamilton fulfilled our expectations and is now one of the best drummers at work today. He is co-director of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has his own jazz trio. He’s also known for his work with Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, the L.A. Four and with pianist Diana Krall.
At about 3:30 in this video you get to experience Jeff’s outstanding brush work as he takes a solo in this live performance with Krall.
When I was studying at the university level to be a music educator my primary instrument was the French horn. Though the horn is not a traditional jazz instrument I was never shy about expressing my interest in playing jazz. Consequently, when the opportunity came to play a few of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra charts I was thrilled to be selected as one of the performers with our university jazz band.
Here’s Consummation, from the 1970 album of the same name, done by the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. It’s one of the charts we played in college, and the experience remains a very fond memory. You’ll hear the French horns on this recording at the beginning and throughout the piece. They guys in the horn section were some of the best in the business: Jimmy Buffington, Earl Chapin, Dick Berg and Julius Watkins.
This is part of a series about how our music hosts fell in love with the artform of jazz.
We're inviting you to share your story of how you came to love jazz, in 200 words or less. Email your essay to [email protected] before February 14. We’ll read the top submissions on air and award several prizes.