I guess it's coincidental that two of my biggest musical inspirations were born on the same day 52 years apart (which is my current age) and also that another one of my biggest musical inspirations was born 11 days apart. Jeff Hamilton and Louis Armstrong born on August 4 and Jeff Hamilton and Jon Faddis born 11 days apart. It's hard to say if the reason I gravitated towards Jeff's playing is because we both hear the music the same way or if I've heard his music so much that that's the way I hear the music now and know his playing so well. Either way, hearing Jeff play is an emotional experience for me all the time. There is no way to describe the way Jeff sets up a band or swings a band. It is a feeling that you never get tired of. I'm always smiling either by the incredible things he does musically or his humor that constantly influences the music. I could go on forever and never really get to what I'm trying to convey. You have to hear him for yourself. I include pictures because sometimes they better tell the story. For me, Jeff the musician, is only half the story because Jeff the friend is equally as special to me. With all my musician/hero/friends I cherish not only being surrounded by the greatest musicianship the world has known, but such depth and quality of fellowship. Jeff has always given me such respect and love. This has played out on so many occasions. Yes, as with so many of my heroes, I am a bit of a geek and like on trumpet I have to have Faddis' horn and case and mutes and cloth, on drums I have to play Jeff's cymbals, his sticks and brushes, cymbal stand, and snare drum that is named "Maximus" for his most well known song "Max" ironically (no not for me lol). It is truly a blessing to be able to call Jeff friend. Happy Birthday Hammer! Life would not be the same without ya! Love ya!
Max Colley III
Spirit Filled Jazz Musician