Scott Hamilton and Dave Cliff, Norwich

DAVID WAKEFIELD Top performers, be it in music, sport or any other pursuit, always make their art look easy.

DAVID WAKEFIELD

Top performers, be it in music, sport or any other pursuit, always make their art look easy. Scott Hamilton, the American master of the tenor saxophone, has this ability; and does not it not only easily but in a positively laid-back manner.

The secret, displayed to a large and appreciative audience at Lakenham Leisure Centre, is in no wastage of notes, thoughtful phrasing and a mastery of interpretation – gifts only granted to a few musicians of this genre.

It was all evident straight from the start as he eased into the old standard Time After Time, which set the tone for the evening. And although he is perfectly at home on up-tempo numbers, Hamilton's strength is his ability to wring every last nuance out of the slower number; hence a particularly sumptuous version of Duke Ellington's In A Sentimental Mood.

His British backing trio responded magnificently, in particular Dave Cliff, with his tastefully melodic guitar playing. Matt Miles' meaty double bass, and Steve Brown, in excellent form behind the drum kit, kept the momentum going during a top value evening.

This is the third in the current series of gigs run at Lakenham by promoter Jerry Brown, and there are more delights to come later in the year, notably Jim Tomlinson, Tina May, and the Alex Welsh Reunion Band.

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