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Pro Drum Shop

Jeff Hamilton & Akiko Tsuruga - Crescent by SABIAN Hammertone Collection Cymbals & a Hammond B3 Organ

Posted by Steve Berkowitz on

Standing in a room with a mishmash of ages, sizes, personalities and personas.  Drummers.

One lone drum set is sitting in the middle of The Professional Drum Shop in Hollywood, California.  It's a room filled with 57 years of drumming history.  Nostalgia plasters the walls in the form of images, headshots, drummers and their sets, all fading with age.  But tonight, history is the backbone of this clinic / concert.

We’re here to get a glimpse of, and listen to the new Crescent by SABIAN Hammertone Collection Cymbals that were designed in the SABIAN Vault with Jeff Hamilton.  The man himself playing the cymbals his ear brought to life.

As things get kicked off, the room is hot and the crowd, a little stiff.  But once Jeff Hamilton starts talking, interacting and taking questions, there’s no choice but to relax and enjoy the understated wisdom… and the music.  Jazz music.  Simple.  Pure.  Intoxicating.  With Akiko Tsuruga on the Hammond B3 organ weaving a melodic tapestry and casting a spell on everyone.

Jeff Hamilton's restrained foundation is a master class in drum 'class'.  Driving a tempo as if he were slowly accelerating a Ferrari, never letting us forget there are horses ready to run, but he controls their reigns and leaves us breathless for more.  When he decides to switch from sticks to brushes, he tells a story with every stroke, with every gentle caress of the drums and cymbals that wait for his cue and do his bidding.  Masterful.

By the end of the night, every stationary head is bobbing.  Every foot, initially glued to the floor, is feeling the magic of the artists sitting in the spotlight and beckoning us to join the journey.  We all did.  We all did.