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Chico Hamilton

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Foreststorn ‘Chico’ Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before striking out on his own as a bandleader in 1955. Chico appears in the March Milastaire number in the film “You'll Never Get Rich” (1941) as part of the backing group supporting Fred Astaire, and performed on the soundtrack of the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope film “Road to Bali”. Chico’s impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon. Recorded first lp as leader in '55 with George Duvivier and Howard Roberts for Pacific Jazz; in '55 formed an unusual quintet in L.A

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Drummers have been key members of every band which has changed the course of jazz history, from Max Roach with Charlie Parker to Elvin Jones with John Coltrane and onwards. Yet drummers have been the leaders of a surprisingly small proportion of landmark bands themselves. Chick Webb in the 1920s was the first of the few. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Give the Drummer (More Than) Some! Part 1

Read "Give the Drummer (More Than) Some! Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

As we hunker down amidst a terrifying pandemic what we need is to drum up our positive energy and attitude. So here's a special home edition of Mondo Jazz spotlighting projects led by creative drummers. Just another way to give drummers more than some! Stay home, socially distance, but musically connected. And don't forget ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Silenced in Their Prime - Eric Dolphy & Booker Little (1961 - 1964)

Read "Silenced in Their Prime - Eric Dolphy & Booker Little (1961 - 1964)" reviewed by Russell Perry

From his first recordings with Chico Hamilton in 1958 until his untimely death from misdiagnosed diabetic shock in 1964, Eric Dolphy was limited to only six years in which to record the music that has defined his extraordinary legacy. Previously, in this series, we have heard from Dolphy's great 1960 recording, Far Cry and his contributions ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Vic Juris: Tension and Release

Read "Vic Juris: Tension and Release" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

This article was first published at All About Jazz on July 28, 2009. Vic Juris is one of the premier jazz guitarists in the business today. Perhaps less known than some of his peers, he is nevertheless admired by all of them and has accumulated, since his emergence on the scene in the 1970s, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rez Abbasi: A Throw Of Dice

Read "A Throw Of Dice" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Rez Abbasi has written a score for a 1929 movie—not an everyday jazz endeavor, but that is what the guitarist/composer does with his thirteenth recording. This after-the-fact soundtrack composing, though rare, is not unprecedented. In 2015 guitarist Aram Bajakian wrote and self produced a recording--an unofficial soundtrack--to the 1969 Soviet film The Color Of Pomegranates, an ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Chico Hamilton

Jazz Musician of the Day: Chico Hamilton

All About Jazz is celebrating Chico Hamilton's birthday today! Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Foreststorn ‘Chico’ Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg-Holm / Matthew Shipp: Season of Sadness

Read "Season of Sadness" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Norwegian multi-reedist/composer Frode Gjerstad has been active in free jazz and avant-garde music across five decades. Among his collaborators are Paal Nilssen-Love, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, William Parker, Sabir Mateen and Johnny Dyani. Gjerstad has toured and played festivals extensively, in Europe and North America, and composed commissioned work for the historic Moldejazz festival. ...

Sex and The Single Trumpet Player

Read "Sex and The Single Trumpet Player" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Jack Sheldon (November 30, 1931) and Chet Baker (December 23, 1929-May 13, 1988)—two trumpeter/vocalists with a great deal in common. They spent their years of jazz apprenticeship, the early 1950's, on the West Coast, largely in jny: Los Angeles. They played in similar styles and their musical career paths early on were pretty similar, although Baker ...


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