Tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton has recorded so many records as a leader (this CD is his 27th for Concord so far) and been so consistent and unchanging through the years that it is difficult to describe any of his records as definitive. However this particular release is one of his stronger ones of recent times. Hamilton sounds quite inspired jamming on six standards, Blue Mitchell's "Blue Caper," two of Norman Simmons' originals and his own blues "Sugarchile" with a quintet consisting of the talented trombonist Joel Helleny, pianist Simmons, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Chuck Riggs. ~ AllMusic
Scott Hamilton's Ballad Essentials collects interpretations of standards like "Skylark", "Body and Soul", "In a Sentimental Mood", "'Round Midnight", and "My Romance". A solid collection from one of mainstream jazz's most consistent tenor sax players.
Tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton is something of a jazz anomaly. Young enough to be part of the generation of players influenced by John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Ornette Coleman, he draws his primary inspiration from an earlier generation of saxophonists. Don Byas, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and, of course, Lester Young–the big-toned, warm, breathy tenor giants of the '30s and '40s–are the icons that fire Hamilton's approach. BALLAD ESSENTIALS is a superb cross-section of his work, recorded with various lineups for the Concord label between 1977 and 1995…
My Romance is an album by the U.S. singer-songwriter Carly Simon, released in 1990. It is her fourteenth studio album, and her sixteenth album overall, as well as being her second album devoted to standards. The album peaked at No. 46 on the Billboard 200, and remained on the chart for 17 weeks. Simon's version of In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning from this album was featured in the hit 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle, as well as being included on the film's soundtrack album.