Exposé Online banner

Akiko-Hamilton-Dechter — Equal Time
(Capri Records no#, 2019, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-09-01

Equal Time Cover art

With Equal Time, this trio creates a serious yet fun jazz sound with a simple trio of organ, guitar and drums. Drummer Jeff Hamilton is a veteran player, in addition to his work with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the many recordings of his own trio, he has supported Woody Herman, Count Basie, Ray Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and many others. Guitarist Graham Dechter has been a member of the aforementioned Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for many years, as well as working with Wynton Marsalis, Elaine Elias, Nancy Wilson, Jimmy Heath and others, and has a couple recordings to his own credit. Organist Akiko Tsuruga relocated from Osaka to the USA at the recommendation of drummer Grady Tate, and has since gone on to release over half a dozen releases under her own name, the latest So Cute, So Bad from 2017 features both Hamilton and Dechter. There is a musical telepathy between them that underscores their shared passion for swing, drawing on the tradition of organ trio pioneer Jimmy Smith. "Mag's Groove," one of Akiko's originals opens the proceedings and sets the tone for all that comes after, illuminating a powerful composition with plenty of brilliant guitar and organ solos throughout its six minute trajectory. Dechter's composition "Orange Coals" is up next, a more nimble swing approach with plenty of stylish guitar drive, the busy bass lines coming from Akiko's foot pedals while Hamilton takes a drum solo in the piece's concluding minutes.The appropriately titled "Osaka Samba" is another Akiko original which gives a lot of space to all three players to stretch out. There are a number of covers here as well, the classic "I Remember You" which has been done by everybody and their brother over the decades, but this arrangement is like one you've never heard before. Similarly, the album closer "This Could Be The Start of Something Big" written by Steve Allen, but covered by numerous artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha, Ocar Peterson and Count Basie, offers probably the most familiar tune but its arrangement is a stylistic continuity of the seven tracks that come before it. John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" from the late 1950s has become somewhat of a standard over the years, and the trio's treatment of it gives Dechter ample room to improvise while Akiko and Hamilton hold down the backing tune and rhythm. This is a great album beginning to end, and I only hope that Equal Time is not a one-off and we here more recordings from this trio in the future.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Akiko-Hamilton-Dechter

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ken Watson - Assembly – Originally released independently in 1985, Watson's home-brew project has stood the test of time: until this CD came out, that vinyl release with its low-budget black and white cover would find its...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues