Chico Hamilton
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Spectacular (1956), 5.5/10
Quintet in Hi Fi (1956), 6/10
Quintet (1956), 6/10
Gongs East (1958), 7/10
Three Faces (1959), 6.5/10
Special (1960), 5.5/10
Drumfusion (1962), 5.5/10
Passin' Through (1962), 5.5/10
Man From Two Worlds (1963), 7/10

Los Angeles-based drummer Chico Hamilton (1921), who had been a member of Gerry Mulligan's quintet in 1952-53, formed his (mixed-race) quintet in 1955 with guitarist Jim Hall, reedist Buddy Collette, bassist Carson Smith and cellist Fred Katz that debuted with Spectacular (august 1955). Like in the case of the Modern Jazz Quintet, this unusual line-up often sounded like a black man's version of chamber music, except that the material was much simpler. Accordingly, Hamilton's drumming was much more than mere timekeeping, using the percussion to add color to the harmony, as shown in the solos of Drums West on Quintet In Hi Fi (february 1956) and Mr Jo Jones on Quintet (october 1956). After several changes of line-up (notably guitarist Jim Hall and flutist Paul Horn), a new quintet with Nate Gershman on cello and Eric Dolphy on reeds recorded Gongs East (december 1958) and Three Faces (february 1959), with several notable solos (Trinkets, Happy Little Dance, No Speak No English Man). The last of the cello albums was Special (november 1960), featuring Charles Lloyd on flute, after which Hamilton replaced the cello with the trombone for Drumfusion (february 1962), Passin' Thru (september 1962) and Man from Two Worlds (december 1963), all dominated by Lloyd's compositions and devoted mostly to hard-bop music.
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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