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Jeff Hamilton


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A reliable and versatile drummer who sounds equally at home with a big band or combo, Jeff Hamilton has a strong reputation in the jazz world.
He attended Indiana University, in 1974 was with the Tommy Dorsey ghost band, played briefly with Lionel Hampton, and then spent two years as a member of Monty Alexander's Trio (1975-1977). Hamilton was with Woody Herman's Orchestra (1977-1978), became a member of the L.A. Four (with whom he made six records), and started recording regularly as a sideman for Concord. As a leader, he made his debut with 1982's Indiana on Concord, featuring tenorman Bob Cooper and altoist Lanny Morgan, pianist Biff Hannon, bassist John Clayton, and guest vocalist Mark Murphy. Between 1983 and 1987, he performed with Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, and Monty Alexander.
In the '90s, Hamilton toured the world with Oscar Peterson and the Ray Brown trio, gigged with the Clayton Brothers' quartet, and was a co-leader (with John and Jeff Clayton) of the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra. Jeff Hamilton has also occasionally led his own trio, recording for Lake Street and Mons, delivering such albums as 1994's It's Hamilton Time!, and 1997's Dynavibes
More solo outings followed including 2002's Hand's On, 2004's The Best Things Happen, and 2009's Symbiosis, with pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty. Also during this period, he remained a busy session player, racking up credits with such luminaries as Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, and Barbra Streisand, among others. In 2012, he returned to his solo trio work with Red Sparkle, which once again featured pianist Hendelman and bassist Luty. The following year, he joined pianist Paul Kuhn and longtime associate drummer Jeff Clayton for The L.A. Session. In 2017, Hamilton augmented his trio with tenor saxophonist Cory Weeds for the urbane Dreamsville. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi


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