Julie Stalmer 8 a.m., Feb. 22
Jeff Hamilton Trio: live
The LA trio graced the Saville Theatre stage to fund-raise for KSDS Jazz 88
Playing sans-amplifier, bassist Christoph Luty used the bow to state the melody on "The More I see You," buttressed by the infectious groove-machine drums of Hamilton. Pianist Tamir Hendlemen tossed florid block chords and bluesy trills into the mix.
Employing brushes like an evangelist uses the Bible, Hamilton's sense of swing is potent, and he motored "It Could Happen To You," into a showcase for Hendleman's Red Garland ebullience and his own supremely musical solo.
The highlight, for me was a wonderful reading of a pop-classic, Stephen Bishop's "On and On." Striking his ride cymbal with a brush and using an open palm on snare and tom-toms to set up a mesmerizing vamp with Luty-- Hamilton demonstrated clearly how this kind of thing should be done: keep the melody intact and the harmonies simple enough to let the song sing.
Brought to San Diego by the indefatigable flute virtuoso Holly Hofmann and her Keynote Jazz Company -- the Hamilton Trio swung their asses off to an enthusiastic audience for a great cause.