Jeff Hamilton
August 4, 1953
© Heinz Kronberger




Jeff Hamilton
Originality is what versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings to the groups he performs with and is one of the reasons why he is constantly in demand, whether he is recording or performing with his trio, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, the Clayton Brothers or co-leading the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Jeff's recording, It's Hamilton Time (Lake Street Records), received enormous airplay while reaching #5 on the Gavin national jazz radio chart.

His trio's second release, Jeff Hamilton Trio-LIVE! (MONS) was nominated by critics for best jazz recording in Germany in 1997. The trio's second MONS release is entitled, Hands On . Hamilton House-Live at Steamers (MONS) is the trio's 2000 release. As well as recording and performing throughout the world, Jeff also teaches, arranges and composes.

Jeff has received rave reviews for his dynamic drumming. David Badham of Jazz Journal International stated in his review of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra's release, Heart and Soul (Capri): "This is one of the finest modern big band issues I've heard...This is undoubtedly due to Jeff Hamilton, a most driving and technically accomplished drummer."" Jeff is equally at home in smaller formats.

He is an integral part of the Clayton Brothers and Herb Wong stated in his review of their release, The Music (Capri), in JazzTimes: "Always evident is...the colorful work of the rhythm section featuring...the sensitivity and sizzle of Jeff Hamilton's seasoned drums." Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times described Jeff and his work with Oscar Peterson as "the Los Angeles-based drummer whose intelligent backing and spirited solo work met Peterson's customarily high standards..." In his review of he Ray Brown Trio in the Denver Post, Jeff Bradley stated that Jeff "brought the crowd to its feet with his amazing hand-drumming, soft and understated yet as riveting and rewarding as any drum solo you've heard."

Born in Richmond, Indiana, Jeff grew up listening to his parent's big band records and at the age of eight began playing drums along with Oscar Peterson records. He attended Indiana University and later studied with John Avon Ohlen. Jeff was influenced by Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis, "Philly" Joe Jones and Shelly Manne. In 1974, he got his first big break playing with the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

He then joined Lionel Hampton's Band until 1975 when he, along with bassist John Clayton, became members of the Monty Alexander Trio. He attained a childhood goal in 1977 when he joined Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, with whom he made several recordings. In 1978, he was offered the position vacated by Shelly Manne in the L.A.4 with Ray Brown, Bud Shank and Laurindo Almeida. He recorded six records with the L.A.4, some of which featured his own arrangements and compositions.

From 1983 to 1987, Jeff performed with Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney and Monty Alexander. Jeff began his association with the Ray Brown Trio in 1988 and left in March 1995 to concentrate on his own trio. From 1999-2001, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra was named the in-residence ensemble for the Hollywood Bowl Jazz series. Jeff is currently touring with his own Trio, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and Diana Krall.

I n addition to his many recordings with Ray Brown, Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin, George Shearing, Dr. John, Clark Terry, Gene Harris, Toshiko Akioshi, Scott Hamilton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Keely Smith, Bill Holman, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Mark Murphy. Jeff is a frequent guest of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany.

He also appeared in Natalie Cole's Great Performances PBS special, Unforgettable and an Oscar Peterson documentary, Life In The Key Of Oscar.




© Heinz Kronberger








© Goffredo Loertscher



Jeff Hamilton Trio
Jeff Hamilton - Larry Fuller - Lynn Seaton
Apple Honey
Subway Cologne - Germany - 1997


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Jeff Hamilton - Bernhard Castiglioni (Drummerworld)







© Goffredo Loertscher



© Alex Solca







Father, Son & Godfather Trio
John Clayton - Jeff Hamilton - Gerald Clayton



Jeff Hamilton
COTTON TAIL
The WDR Big Band with the Ray Brown Trio: Peter Green - Jeff Hamilton - Ray Brown - Conductor: John Clayton
Cologne - Germany - 1994 - from the Archives of Andy Lüscher


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© Goffredo Loertscher






© Goffredo Loertscher




© Alex Solca



Jeff Hamilton - Diana Krall - Anthony Wilson - John Clayton
Devil May Care
Olympia Paris - 2001


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Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra




© Bernhard Castiglioni




© Goffredo Loertscher














Jeff Hamilton
John Clayton - Charles Owens - Graham Dechter - Tamir Hendelman
Gilbert Castellanos - Clay Jenkins - Maurice Spears - Rickey Woodard
Christoph Luty - Sal Cracchiolo - James Ford - Ryan Porter - Ira Nepus
BRUSH DRUM SOLO: "BACK HOME TO INDIANA"
42 International Jazzweek Burghausen - Germany


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...some years ago...















Jeff Hamilton
Drum Solo
A Night In Tunisia
Modern Drummer Days 1998


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© Goffredo Loertscher



© Goffredo Loertscher



 











Jeff Hamilton:
Brushes: Lateral Motion & Time Passes On


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The Brush Masters:
Jake Hanna - Jeff Hamilton - Ed Thigpen



















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