Chico Hamilton QuintetThree Classic AlbumsAvid Records2010 The first thing the Chico Hamilton Quintet had going for it was unusual instrumentation. The quintet built its sound around the cello, and featured guitar, bass, either flute or clarinet (with the occasional sax), and Hamilton on drums, forgoing the sticks for brushes or mallets. The second thing was a style that wasn't quite jazz, exactly, but not as composed as classical (and definitely not as boring as third stream.) Many called it chamber jazz, an apt title for a group that applied counterpoint and melody ...read more
Chico Hamilton Twelve Tones of Love Joyous Shout 2009 The Original Chico Hamilton Quintet Complete Studio Recordings Fresh Sound 2009 It would be a huge understatement simply to say that legendary drummer Chico Hamilton is still going strong as he approaches his 88th birthday next month. His latest CD, Twelve Tones of Love, is as jam-packed with creativity and musical ideas as any release you're likely to hear this year. Indeed, one criticism of ...read more
Meet Chico Hamilton: Known for representing jazz in its purest form, octogenarian Chico Hamilton shows virtually no signs of fatigue. Saluted by the Kennedy Center as a Living Jazz Legend," and appointed to the National Council on the Arts, Chico Hamilton is considered one of the most important living jazz artists and composers. He is currently on a national Borders Bookstore tour with his band Euphoria. While continuing to teach at the New School University Jazz Program, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree, Chico is busy writing his autobiography, composing and performing music for film, and working on ...read more
When Chico Hamilton was a boy growing up in Los Angeles, the film studios used to send trucks out to pick up the little African-American children to play natives in their Tarzan movies. It was work, after all, and we got paid for it," says the drummer, now 87 years of age. And what you learned very quickly is not to look into the camera. Once you did that they could never hire you again." That's a lesson that relates to Hamilton's entire career as a musician; it's the craft and the work that have always mattered to him and ...read more
More than anything, music is similar to line. Music is also unidirectional; it cannot back up within the same context and repeat what has just been done. Excluding the shallowness or depth of the resonance of sound, the dimensionality in music stems from the intersection of lines as one instrumental line overlaps the other. An example of this interrelationship comes in a 1993 duo date with drummer Chico Hamilton and the late, unsurpassable pianist, Andrew Hill, on Dreams Come True.
Those familiar with Chico Hamilton's impervious pulsations will recognize his equally adept skill at chasing seemingly non-rhythmic musical curves as ...read more
No matter what tradition a drummer harks from, if that drummer is good, there is no avoiding the uplifting nature of the music when the drummer leads in a precise direction. Chico Hamilton is just that drummer. One need only to read his liner notes for It's About Time! and his standard is set. His musical aim: to find the pocket and stick with it.
The members of the trio on this recording have collaborated over a period of twenty-five years: Pretty simple--a guitarist, a Fender bassist, and drummer. The elegance that this trio cultivates in the thickness, ...read more
"It's about time," a common phrase of exasperated relief, has deeper temporal meanings as the title of Chico Hamilton's new CD. Its primary reference is to keeping time on the drums, which Hamilton has done skillfully for over a half-century. Moreover, the drums/bass/guitar trio setup on this disc is the same type he used on his 1955 debut as a leader, which gives the album a retrospective aspect. Finally, It's About Time! is a mere 28 minutes long--a time frame which many jazz players use nowadays simply to clear their throats. Throughout the album Hamilton uses his ...read more