SCOTT HAMILTON was born in 1954, in Providence, Rhode Island and heard jazz from his father’s record collection. His only formal tuition was on clarinet, aged 8. He began playing saxophone seriously when he was 16. Six years later he moved to New York and began playing regularly with the likes of Anita O’Day, Hank Jones, Roy Eldridge, Illinois Jacquet, Vic Dickenson and Jo Jones. He soon made his first recording and joined Benny Goodman. He was just 22. He seemed to appear fully formed with an appealing swing style on tenor and caused a minor sensation — few other young players during the fusion era were exploring pre-bop jazz at his high level. In 1977 he formed his own band, began recording for Concord …. and 40 albums later is still doing so. Along the way he has made albums with his regular British Quartet (tonight’s band!) plus Alan Barnes, Dave McKenna, Jake Hanna, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan, Flip Phillips, Maxine Sullivan, Buddy Tate, Warren Vache, many with Rosemary Clooney and a number with another of his mentors, Ruby Braff.
For some years he was based in London, where he first played in 1978, but now travels the world from Italy. Each year, in addition to two or three residencies with the quartet at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, British jazz club dates and festival work including Brecon, where he is one of the patrons, he regularly tours Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Japan, Spain and Italy. He returns to America three or four times a year to play at festivals. He regularly records three or more albums each year that are notable for their consistency and solid swing.