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The Chico Hamilton Quintet: A Different Journey

David Rickert By

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Chico Hamilton always maintained that the line-up on A Different Journey was his favorite of all his quintets, and it’s easy to see why; with both Gabor Szabo and Charles Lloyd on hand, some interesting ideas are going to emerge. By this time Hamilton had cast off the light, chamber jazz directions he pursued in the fifties in favor of the advances of Coltrane and Coleman. In Lloyd he chose a perfect musical director; his compositions are not based on melodic heads as much as they are springboards for challenging improvisation. Due to the talent in the front line, Hamilton seems content to stay out of the way and just keep time. Trombonist George Bohanon works the same terrain originally occupied by a cellist, working in tandem with Lloyd to create solos based on a series of abstract ideas. Szabo’s prickly solos and brisk comping prove him to be a real find, one of the best guitarists to emerge from the sixties. Together they work through the songs with energetic freedom and a wellspring of spontaneity. Hot on the heels of his collaboration with Eric Dolphy, Hamilton once again created a masterful group whose subliminal interactions are among the best of the era. As creative and original as the various Hamilton Quintet were, it’s a shame that more of their recordings aren’t readily available. Fortunately, this one has resurfaced.

Track Listing: 1. Sun Yen Yen 2. A Voice in the Night 3. Different Journey 4. The Vulture 5. One Sheridan Square 6. Island Blues.

Personnel: Chico Hamilton-drums; Albert Stinson-bass; George Bohanon-trombone; Gabor Szabo-guitar; Charles Lloyd-tenor saxophone and flute.

Title: A Different Journey | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Collectables

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