Whether he accompanies his voice with the “sanza” or the drums, whether he is accompanied by Reggie Washington’s electric bass and/or by the alto sax of Stéphane Payen, there is something essential in Doug Hammond’s playing and singing.
Listen to these minimalistic but rigorous drums still bursting with sound, yet stripped of all the frenzy and muscular edge that others pour over their drums’ skins and cymbals.
Here, it’s dancing in grace and deepness. The same goes for the voice, which speaks, sings or raps without haste, but with an affirming presence in the modulations, giving dynamic accents and weight to every syllable.
Recorded “live” with the duo or trio at the “Dynamo de Pantin” (Paris/France) or solo in an Austrian studio, this beautiful CD swings from beginning to end with a soft and perfectly controlled energy of a real master who sets an example about the real meaning of words such as “roots,” ”swing,” ”expression,” “vocal jazz,” “world music,” “modernism,” “sound”……… and I give up.