Partners in Crime
Dear Listener, Welcome! I am very excited about this project because I get to share the bill with two of my favorite musicians, Bill Cunliffe and Jeff Hamilton. For over ten years I had the honor of sharing rhythm section duties with these fine gentlemen as part of the acclaimed Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Over the years the fun and joy of music making only got better, and we got to know each other's styles of playing on an intimate level. Some years ago, Bill mentioned his interest in the Hammond B-3 organ and after a few initial performances the idea for this project began to germinate. It was hard to coordinate everyone in one city for rehearsals, however fax machines were always available for swapping tune ideas and arrangements back and forth. We decided that the bulk of the material should be our own compositions and added several standard tunes that we love to play on to the mix. After much calendar consultation we found a block of days where we would all be in Los Angeles at the same time. Rehearsals were short, easy and full of laughter. Bill and I came in with arrangements and tunes. Jeff immediately put his personal stamp on the project with a lot of great ideas and in no time at all we had fifteen tunes ready to go. We recorded this project in one day with all of us in one room for optimal listening and communication. Most of the tunes were done in one or two takes with no overdubbing or 'fixing.' There was little need to discuss the music. We simply played and let the interaction of the moment dictate the direction for us. After much listening and discussion of various takes over several months, we settled on what we felt were the best twelve tunes we had. Kudos goes to our good friend Maurice Gainen for his great ears and fantastic work in the mastering process. He truly brought the sound quality up to an outstanding level. Bill Cunliffe's mastery of the organ is apparent from the very first note and Jeff Hamilton proves yet again why he is one of the most sought after drummers working today. Rather than talk about the music itself, I'll simply invite you to take a listen and join us on our journey through this set. Thank you for visiting, Jim Hershman.