Scott Hamilton returned to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend at Chan’s Jazz & Blues Club with the Gray Sargent Trio featuring 2 members of Tony Bennett’s band: the amazing Gray Sargent on guitar, the incredible Marshall Wood on bass and Boston Pop’s Jim Gwinn on drums.
Scott Hamilton with Gray Sargent, Marshall Wood and Jim Gwynn With Guest Vocalist Donna Byrne
November 26, 2017 at Chan’s in Woonsocket, RI
By Bill Falk
pictures by Eric Falk
This was a match made in heaven! The incomparable Scott Hamilton on tenor sax, Gray Sargent on guitar, Marshall Wood on bass and Jim Gwynn on drums.
This is one of the finest groups I’ve ever seen or heard. They blended perfectly to produce marvelous swinging jazz that kept the sellout crowd enthralled all night. Everything they played was a hit from the time they opened with Chinatown My Chinatown.
Scott was at his best – which means he was phenomenal. My late wife Grace always said that he was the only one who could produce such an unbelievable sound. He smiled all night – meaning he enjoyed working with the trio behind him. I believe he is the greatest jazz tenor sax man ever whether he is soloing, blending in with the group or backing up a singer.
Gray Sargent on guitar soloed excellently. Plus, he coordinated with Marshall Wood on bass beautifully. I like it when Gray blasts away on his guitar. Marshall Wood
is a treat on bass. His facial expressions are priceless. He makes the bass sing. Jim Gwynn on drums set a terrific beat for the group. He took some breaks and soloed great later in the program.
All the players were smiling and enjoying themselves all night. Their happiness made the music sound even better. The crowed clapped and clapped as the group ripped through song after song.
If this group ever gets together again, and if you can get to see them, I guarantee you’ll love their music and upbeat mood.
Scott called Donna Byrne up from the audience for several entertaining song renditions. She, too, was a hit. Donna captured the spirit of the evening and performed very well.
Some of the songs played were Laura, Russian Lullaby, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Best Things in Life Are Free and Emily. There were many others, but I was unable to remember them.