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Unique interview: Jazz legend Scott Hamilton speaks to EU As we speak in Brussels

Jazz lovers in Brussels have been handled to a really particular efficiency on Saturday when the legendary tenor sax participant Scott Hamilton appeared for a one-off live performance at The Music Village, Brussels’ premier Jazz venue. He was supported by Belgium’s Johan Clement Trio.

Steeped within the most interesting of Jazz traditions, he has performed and recorded with lots of the nice names of the style: Benny Goodman and Tony Bennett to call simply two.

His influences, his expertise, and his unbridled ardour for his artwork come collectively to convey a timeless high quality to his performances – he would not simply convey his music to the stage, he brings his historical past.

“He creates recent, swinging solos from songs previous and new, Jazz favorites and blues, by no means exhibiting indicators of working in need of concepts,” wrote esteemed British Jazz critic and writer Dave Gelly.

I used to be very fortunate, as a eager Jazz fan myself, to get the possibility to talk with Scott Hamilton throughout a break between two units.

With Scott Hamilton

The Music Village, which solely opened in Brussels in 2000 and just lately had a refurb, has one thing of a retro really feel about it which makes it the right venue for Jazz lovers, however what did Scott Hamilton consider the venue? “I adore it right here, it jogs my memory of among the locations I performed 50 years in the past,” he stated, agreeing with me that nostalgia is within the DNA of all Jazz.

As a younger man he performed the harmonica – being in Brussels I needed to point out the late harmonica participant Toots Thielemans, Belgium’s most well-known Jazz musician, nonetheless a lot revered eight years after his passing: “There isn’t any-one on this planet I had extra admiration for than Toots. Once I first got here to Europe in ’79 we performed collectively on the identical invoice at a competition in Holland and he let me come up on the finish and play with him. He was very beneficiant, and over time we noticed one another typically on the street: we each labored so much in Sweden and we have been getting very fashionable, and so we received to know one another.”

I requested about an interview he gave within the 90’s when he recommended that the late 60’s – early 70’s had been a “unhealthy time for Jazz.” How did he really feel in regards to the current day, I puzzled.

Scott Hamilton 2

“We’re distant from these years, and I discover now that I’m enjoying on a regular basis, and I’m enjoying to full homes,” he stated.

In the identical line, I requested for his opinion on Belgium’s Summer season Jazz festivals – virtually each metropolis has one. With Jazz being such a various style, I puzzled why it’s that the festivals are being watered down with pop music, and in a single case this yr, Punk Rock?

“Commercialism,” he replied unhesitatingly. “The unique promoters of Jazz have been Jazz followers. Though they have been all for getting cash they have been extra all for placing on a cultural occasion.

“These youthful guys, they do not know any Jazz, and like most promoters as of late their solely curiosity is in the place they will promote greater than 3000 tickets… I believe the identify ‘Jazz’ is only a manner OF getting consideration. They arrive underneath the identify of Jazz, however mainly all they’re all for is no matter sells. That is why I do not play large festivals now.”

He’s in nice demand, as his efficiency schedule attests, and spends quite a lot of time touring.

He at the moment lives in Italy, the place he spent a lot of his childhood together with his mother and father, each of whom have been artists, and rising up “surrounded by Italian sculpture.”

I requested him, provided that he has carried out, recorded, and produced with among the true greats (he’s the one individual I’ve ever met who as a teen noticed Depend Basie play reside) if there any initiatives he nonetheless needs to discover, “effectively,” he replied with a smile, “there are a whole lot of songs on the market I have not tried but…”…

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU As we speak.

An skilled journalist and writer, he focuses on atmosphere, vitality, and defence.

He additionally has greater than 10 years expertise of working as a employees member within the EU establishments, working with political teams and MEPs in numerous coverage areas.

In October 2021 POLITICIAN described Gary as “the busiest man in Brussels!”

He’s a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, knowledgeable affiliation for journalists, the senior such physique within the UK, and the oldest on this planet having been based in October 1884

Gary’s most up-to-date e book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Guide for Criminals on The right way to Keep away from Punishment within the EU is at the moment obtainable from Amazon…


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