Tamir Hendelman: Sycamore




Tamir Hendelman (piano)


Playground (Swing Bros. 28022)

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Tamir Hendelman (piano), John Clayton (bass), Jeff Hamilton (drums).

Composed by Tamir Hendelman


Recorded: Los Angeles, March 20-21, 2008


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

While he can wow the crowds with outrageous piano flights a la Gene Harris, I am much more enamored of Tamir Hendelman's sensitive ballads. He has a delicate touch that he saves for ballads, and he instinctively knows how to temper his technique in order to maintain the mood. His beautiful composition "Sycamore" is a highlight of his debut CD, Playground. Written in memory of the boyhood walks he took with his father, the melody is simple, childlike and touching. The bridge features John Clayton bowing a bass formerly owned by his mentor, Ray Brown. Hendelman's solo starts seamlessly from the melody, and in its dreamy world, there is a perfect balance between the multi-note runs and leisurely rubato ideas. Like Hendelman, Clayton's solo draws from elements of the melody and draws its strength from its restraint. Throughout the performance, Jeff Hamilton provides welcome splashes of color with his exquisite brush work. This was undoubtedly a special song for all three of the musicians, especially Hendelman, who as a young father, must now be looking forward to spending the same quality time with his children as his father did with him.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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