Scott Hamilton: Young and Foolish
Young and Foolish
Scott Hamilton (tenor sax)
Scott Hamilton with Strings (Concord 4538)
Bob Maize (bass), Roy McCurdy (drums); 20-piece string orchestra conducted by Alan Broadbent.
Composed by Albert Hague & Arnold B. Horwitt; arranged by Alan Broadbent.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, October 5-6, 1992
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Scott Hamilton emerged in the 1970s as a polished mainstream pre-bopper at a time when most players of his generation were exploring hard- and post-bop, fusion, or free jazz. He has been a consistently tasteful saxophonist ever since, with a style that contains elements of Zoot Sims, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Don Byas and, as evident on this track, Stan Getz. Never an innovator, never very adventurous, Hamilton can frustrate those who wish he would let loose a little more, especially when he unexpectedly veers towards more modern (for him) boppish phrasings. Since he's an authoritative and moving ballad player, his With Strings CD, especially thanks to Alan Broadbent's lush arrangements, stands out for the grace and clarity of his theme readings and improvisations.
If Hamilton's interpretation of "Young and Foolish" doesn't grab you, then none of his work ever will. Broadbent's enchanting string writing for the opening verse has the flavor and impact of a memorable movie theme, perfectly setting up Hamilton's purring articulation of the poignant melody, with shades of Webster's breathy vibrato peeking out at times. Hamilton's solo is most often remindful of Getz, especially in his hurtling runs, phrase construction, and occasional rasps that supplant his primarily lustrous tone. Overall, a solo that is sensitively conceived and detailed, and totally absorbing. The finale is an exquisitely realized dual coda for strings and then sax.
Reviewer: Scott Albin