Revered jazz drummer Jeff Hamilton reunites with his trio, featuring bassist Jon Hamar and pianist Tamir Hendelman, for Merry & Bright

Jeff Hamilton Trio returns with new Holiday album Merry & Bright!

A recording of Hamilton’s favorite Christmas tunes. The album was an early stocking stuffer, released November 19, 2021 via Capri Records. Hamilton said,  “I’ve always enjoyed holiday music and have been planning on doing a Christmas project for many years. I finally did it during the pandemic and got my trio into the studio to record it direct to 2 track, like I used to. We were very happy with the outcome. We put together these arrangements and got the recording done in only a few hours.”

Hamar and Hendelman open “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in the spirit of the original, somewhat melancholy version sung by Judy Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis.” Of course, Frank Sinatra’s version is one best remembered, as well as Mel Tormé’s, who wrote a beautiful new verse for the tune.

“We hope people enjoy listening to these tunes as much as we enjoyed putting the recording together,” says Hamilton. “There’s a combination of all the things we do that has become the trio’s signature style and what it’s known for.”


Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by host Jim Wilke and airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on KNKX Public Radio. Listeners may also subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Google

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