Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wilford Brimley With The Jeff Hamilton Trio Capri Records 2013

Wilford Brimley sits in with the Jeff Hamilton Trio for a delightful romp through some old favorites and forgotten gems, pure entertainment!
Brent Black /

Wilford Brimley has worked as a ranch hand, horse wrangler, blacksmith and stuntman. Oh yeah, he is an icon from both the small and large screens when it comes to acting and now Brimley adds to an amazing resume as vocalist with the Jeff Hamilton Trio. There is an immediate connectivity here as Brimley embraces a somewhat eclectic set list proving not only can he swing but that innate gift of swing that eludes some singers seems to come effortlessly from this Renaissance man turned jazz vocalist if only for this one session.

The Jeff Hamilton Trio feeds off the character and enthusiasm Brimley brings to the table and this group as never sounded better. Hamilton swings hard on drums complemented with the hot ticket in jazz piano with Tamir Hendelman and the lyrical soul pumpkin in Christoph Luty on bass. Brimley and Hamilton picked the tunes and did not attempt to take the easy road but the standard road less traveled. "I Have Dreamed" from Rogers and Hamerstein along with "A Sleepin' Bee" from Truman Capote are just two of the classics that have been allowed to collect some dust for far to long but are brought to life again in a presentation that is best described as pure entertainment. "Pick Yourself Up" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" are reinvented and as comfortable as that favorite well worn pair of jeans you just can't bring yourself to get rid of.

Wilford Brimley gives a delightful performance in a setting that may seem unlikely to some but the emotional connection made with each tune would clearly indicate that the American icon is a long time jazz fan if not student of the Great American Songbook. Brimley shows off timing and phrasing techniques that some "professional" vocalists struggle with to this day.

To find any critical remarks on this recording would be taking hypercritical to a new level and a crime against Music Appreciation 101. Bottom line, if this recording doesn't make you smile then you may well be waiting on your autopsy report.

Tracks: I Wish You Love; I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face; Pick Yourself Up; I Have Dreamed; Waltz For Debby; Ain't She Sweet; That Sunday, That Summer; When I Take My Sugar To Tea; Walkin' My Baby Back Home; This Love Of Mine; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Love Letters; A Sleepin' Bee; Your's Is My Heart Alone; Bidin' My Time.

Personnel: Wilford Brimley: Vocals; Jeff Hamilton: Drums; Tamir Hendleman: Piano; Christoph Luty: Bass.