Mainstream Jazz tenor saxophone icon Scott Hamilton joined Blue Duchess Records with a lot of jazz history: he has played to critical acclaim through a career that included stints with Roy Eldridge, Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney and a guest spot on Bing Crosby’s last album. Leading his own band, Scott has produced dozens of highly rated jazz albums over the years for Concord Records.
Scott Hamilton’s premiere release on Blue Duchess Records, ”Remembering Billie,” presents an instrumental demonstration of the beauty of Billie Holiday’s songs. “Remembering Billie,” conceived by Scott, working closely with producer Duke Robillard, is widely regarded as a masterwork tribute that displays the best of Scott Hamilton’s work.
“Scott Hamilton ..He swings, he’s always in the pocket and he doesn’t need/have to prove anything. If you want to listen to some sweet jazz that’s played for the sheer joy of it, you and this set are going to get along just fine. Killer stuff that gives mainstream jazz a good name no matter how much dirt hipsters try to kick at it.”
“Remembering Billie,” is something of a magnum opus, from an artist who is at a place in his illustrious career where a magnum opus is just what is needed to top so many previous glorious albums. This tribute to the early, more freely swinging recordings of the inimitable Billie Holiday, is played with equally matchless style by saxophonist Scott Hamilton. The album, produced by Duke Robillard, displays the versatility and impeccable taste that Hamilton has been sharing for decades.”
“Give a listen to Remembering Billie and you will hear one of the best of the players in this tradition, the aforementioned Mr. Hamilton. Hamilton can caress a ballad and swing his forever off with the best of them. Producer Duke Robillard contributes his guitar mastery. Put it all together and the result is pure listening pleasure”
-New Jersey Jazz
“It’s his first effort for Duke Robillard’s Blue Duchess Records it’s a splendid effort that captures the 58-year-old Hamilton in prime, relaxed form, reminding those who need to be reminded that few tenor players swing with his consummate ease, or cut to the emotional heart of a song as consistently”
“With Hamilton blowing it hot, cool and sweet, the listener is in for a rare musical Holiday that expertly recalls Lady Day’s way with a song.”
– The Virginian-Pilot
Scott Hamilton’s critically acclaimed classic, “Remembering Billie.” is available on CD and in 180 gram vinyl, which brings the listener the full 24 bit recording. The limited edition vinyl pressing of “Remembering Billie” includes a download card with all of the tracks on the CD.”
Scott Hamilton Plays Jule Styne
Sax legend Scott Hamilton’s second CD for Blue Duchess Records is a stunning tribute to the music of Jule Styne. Produced by award winning guitarist and producer Duke Robillard, the CD includes both well and lesser known Styne compositions. It has been repeatedly described as “breathtaking.”
From Broadway World Music Editor Pat Cerasaro:
“Scott, and his all star lineup, are all in fine form. Only Gene Ammon’s version of “The Party’s Over” can give Scott a run for the money on this one. And Scott’s rendition of “People” brings tears to the eyes of a listener who thought he never wanted to hear this song again. Again and again here Mr. Hamilton proves he’s the top dog at swinging these classics the way no one else can.
Ravishing ballads and swinging fresh impressions of classics a the game here, and what a beautiful game it is! Scott Hamilton performs nine of Jule Styne’s finest songs in this joyful and spirited exploration of Styne’s music, under the direction of producer Duke Robillard. Scott is joined by the same rhythm section that swung with him on his prior Blue Duchess release “Remembering Billie”: pianist Tim Ray (whose diverse career includes tours with Lyle Lovett and associations with a vast array of artists that range from Aretha Franklin, Dave Douglas and Phil Woods to Esperanza Spalding and the Boston Pops), bassist Dave Zinno and drummer Jim Gwin. Guitarist Fred Bates guests “Sunday”. The rhythm section gives Hamilton stimulating support and occasional solos that uplift the music.
While many of the vintage songwriters were not always pleased with some of the treatments that their songs received by jazz artists, Jule Styne would have loved Scott Hamilton’s CD. The great tenor caresses the melodies, builds his solos from the themes, and plays with warmth and subtle creativity, perfectly placing his notes. He picks the perfect tempos for these songs, whether it is hard-swinging versions of “Bye Bye Love” and “Sunday” or a beautiful ballad version of “All The Way.” It is particularly nice to have the superior “You Say You Care” getting a rare revival.”
– Pat Cerasaro, editor, Broadway World Music