Get this crazy baby off my head!


Chico Hamilton

Chico Hamilton - Trio! Live @ Artpark - 2008 - Joyous Shout!

Chico Hamilton, a subtle and creative drummer, will probably always be better known for the series of quintets that he led during 1955-1965 and for his ability as a talent scout than for his fine drumming. Hamilton first played drums while in high school with the many fine young players (including Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, and Charles Mingus) who were in Los Angeles at the time. He made his recording debut with Slim Gaillard, was house drummer at Billy Berg's, toured with Lionel Hampton, and served in the military (1942-1946). In 1946, Hamilton worked briefly with Jimmy Mundy, Count Basie, and Lester Young (recording with Young). He toured as Lena Horne's drummer (on and off during 1948-1955), and gained recognition for his work with the original Gerry Mulligan piano-less quartet (1952-1953). In 1955, Hamilton put together his first quintet, a chamber jazz group with the reeds of Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and cellist Fred Katz. One of the last important West Coast jazz bands, the Chico Hamilton Quintet was immediately popular and appeared in a memorable sequence in 1958's Jazz on a Summmer's Day and the Hollywood film The Sweet Smell of Success. The personnel changed over the next few years (with Paul Horn and Eric Dolphy heard on reeds, cellist Nate Gersham, guitarists John Pisano and Dennis Budimir, and several bassists passing through the group) but it retained its unusual sound. By 1961, Charles Lloyd was on tenor and flute, Gabor Szabo was the new guitarist, and soon the cello was dropped in favor of trombone (Garnett Brown and later George Bohanon), giving the group an advanced-hard bop style. In 1966, Chico Hamilton started composing for commercials and the studios and he broke up his quintet. However, he continued leading various groups, playing music that ranged from the avant-garde to erratic fusion and advanced hard bop. Such up-and-coming musicians as Larry Coryell (1966), Steve Potts (1967), Arthur Blythe, Steve Turre (on bass, surprisingly), and Eric Person (who played in Hamilton's '90s group Euphoria) were among the younger players he helped discover. In 1989, Chico Hamilton had a recorded reunion with the original members of his 1955 quintet (with Pisano in Hall's place), and in the 1990s he made a number of records for Soul Note. © Scott Yanow © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/chico-hamilton-mn0000776301/biography

In some ways a throwback to his bands of the early to mid-50s, the guitar-bass-drums format is not foreign to Chico Hamilton, but his old band sounded tame compared to this. Released in 2008 when Hamilton turned 87 years of age, the 1994 Art Park Festival concert at Lewiston, N.Y. was done when the drummer was a resurgent bandleader of 73. The band was electrically charged due to guitarist Cary DeNigris and a young bass guitarist emerging on the scene, Matthew Garrison, the son of the late bassist for John Coltrane's bands Jimmy Garrison. Though Hamilton was using a saxophonist at the time (Eric Person) he is out on this date, and the trio stands alone. The loud, steely guitar of DeNigris is up front and in your face throughout, starting with the retro-fusion tune "Ain't Nobody Calling Me," accented by the pounding stick and brush work of Hamilton and Garrison's funky fingerpopping bass. A ringing guitar informs the loose swinging but hard edged "A Little After Twelve," while the free flowing "Sculpture" displays how snippets falling together can congeal in a discourse, where acute listening skills held together with wit and synapses are more prevalent than charted arrangements. Hamilton employs vocal scat on the lightning fast version of Lester Young's "Tickle Toe," while "C & C" is based on a two-note riff borrowed from "Salt Peanuts," both tunes reflecting a love of Cab Calloway, Babs Gonzales, and Dizzy Gillespie. The quick "First Light" (not Freddie Hubbard's) is a workout for Garrison, and the funky blues shuffle "These Are the Dues" with wah-wah inflections is simply a fun jam. Reflecting his longtime love for Latin music, the stripped down melody of "Denise" is an expertly played bossa nova, something he has always included. Of the many recordings Hamilton has issued in the decade of the 2000s, this is one previously left on a dusty basement shelf that Hamilton felt compelled to issue. While long removed from his initial trio recordings of the '50s on Pacific Jazz, it is a telling reminder not only of how far Hamilton's music has advanced into modern times, but also how he has not at all forgotten his roots. © Michael G. Nastos © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/trio%21-live--artpark-mw0000798209

“Trio! Live @ Artpark” was recorded live at the Artpark Festival, Lewiston, near Buffalo New York on September 3, 1994 by the great jazz musician and composer Chico Hamilton. Chico plays with his long-time sideman, guitarist Cary DeNigris and also the electric bass virtuoso Matthew Garrison. The trio play a dynamic, and blazing series of electrified Chico originals as well as a spirited and intoxicating version of Lester Young’s "Tickle Toe". There is a remarkable synergy and energy between the three musicians. In the album's liner notes, Bill Milkowski says that "Chico's always got one foot solidly planted in the jazz tradition and yet he simultaneously strides forward with open ears and an open mind. On this live outing he mixes it up in volatile fashion with cats less than half his age, and he's right there with them, bringing the funk, slamming with authority and swinging his ass off. Whatever the music calls for, Chico is fully committed, always dealing, strictly in the moment. And the results on this live outing are positively scintillating." This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Chico will be 92 next September (2013) and is still grooving away. Listen to his brilliant “The Chico Hamilton Special”, Cary DeNigris’ great “Between The Lines” album, and Jim Beard’s “Advocate” album featuring Matt Garrison on bass. Please don’t be put off listening to music, especially jazz or jazz fusion because some people label it as avant garde, experimental, or progressive. K Girl @ http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070603232701AAoLdOS said “I love Jazz!!! Thank God it’s not too popular otherwise it would become raped, packaged and insincere”. Muskrat Ramble on http://forums.allaboutjazz.com said, “As for what makes jazz so appealing, I could describe a lot of different things (openness to the spirit of the moment, textural clarity, urbanity, musical interplay, harmonic and rhythmic sophistication, etc.), but for me I think it ultimately boils down to a very fundamental, powerful biological response to the swung rhythms. Simple as that”. Duke Ellington said, “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind”. Slightly biased comment as we all know what music he liked! (lol)! He also said, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”! And that’s really what music is about. Try and be a “musical omnivore”. Listen to as much music as you can. Where there's muck there's gold. In the music scene today, there’s a hell of a lot more muck than gold and it’s easy to spot the fool’s gold! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 145 Mb]


1 Ain’t Nobody Calling Me 5:33
2 A Little After Twelve 7:51
3 First Light 11:33
4 These Are The Dues 8:53
5 Denise 7:55
6 Tickle Toe 4:21
7 Sculpture 10:41
8 C & C 7:43

All tracks composed by Chico Hamilton except Track 2 by Cary DeNigris, and Track 6 by Jon Hendricks & Lester Young


Cary DeNigris - Guitar
Mathew Garrison - Electric Bass
Chico Hamilton - Drums, Vocals


Born on September 20, 1921 in Los Angeles, California, legendary jazz drummer and bandleader, Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton, 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’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. In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President’s nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School. Dynamic as ever at the age of 89, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours. In 2006, Chico released four CD’s on Joyous Shout! in celebration of his 85th birthday: Juniflip featuring guest appearances from- legendary Love front-man Arthur Lee, criminally under-rated vocalist (and successful actor) Bill Henderson, and former Hamilton band members trombonist George Bohanon and bass trombonist Jimmy Cheatham; Believe with Special Guest appearances from vocalist and R & B Diva Fontella Bass and trombonist George Bohanon; 6th Avenue Romp featuring Special Guest appearances from guitarist Shuggie Otis, trumpeter Jon Faddis, trombonist George Bohanon, vocalist Brenna Bavis and percussionist Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers Band; and Heritage with Special Guest appearances from vocalist Marya Lawrence and tromboist George Bohanon. September 2007, Chico released "Hamiltonia" sampling his original compositions from the four albums released in 2006. Hamiltonia is an impassioned statement of purpose- an emphatic endorsement of writing and performing THIS music in the NOW, the way the GREATS did in their time, and confirms Hamilton's status as one of the most important living jazz artists and composers. 2008 saw four releases from Chico on Joyous Shout!, two EP’s and two previously unreleased recordings, each of which provide a different perspective on the Chico Hamilton experience. Paying homage to Chico's past, the It's About Time! EP revisits his first ever recording project as band leader/percussionist. In 1955, Chico recorded a trio album for Pacific Jazz with George Duvivier and Howard Roberts; fast-forward 53 years, and Chico has recast it with his long time collaborators Cary DeNigris on guitar and Paul Ramsey on bass. Chico's distinctive grooves have been rediscovered and refused on the The Alternate Dimensions of El Chico EP, a collection of dance/remix tracks and collaborative works with some of today's hottest turntablists including Fertile Ground, SoulFeast (Joe Claussell and Brian Michel Bacchus), Mark de Clive-Lowe, and Blaze. On Dreams Come True, recorded in 1993, NEA Jazz Masters Andrew Hill and Chico Hamilton deliver a masterpiece of modern improvised music. The two giants are repositories of the history of this music, and here they create a document containing more than is stored in all the history books, sharing and preserving ancient stories and traditions thru their mutual song. And Trio! Live at Artpark, recorded in 1994, documents a blazing performance from a power trio led by Hamilton, with guitarist Cary DeNigris and bassist Matthew Garrison — the son of the late Jimmy Garrison. Witness the remarkable synergy and energy between the three as Hamilton leads his steeds thru a series of originals and a heady romp on "Tickle Toe". Over the years, Chico has had a series of dance floor successes, including his signature song "Conquistadors" from his 60's Impulse album El Chico, and the Brazilian influenced song "Strut" from Chico's 1979 outing on Elektra Nomad, which became so successful on the Northern Soul Scene in the U.K. that it had its own dance!! "Conquistadors" also was the signature track for E-man when he rocked the dance floor at Frank's Cocktail Lounge in Brooklyn. In 2002 a track titled "For Mods Only" from Chico's 1968 Impulse album The Dealer, was included on the Thievery Corporations SOUNDS FROM THE VERVE HI-FI. Fall of 2005, Rong Music released the 12" vinyl "Kerry's Caravan" from Mudd & Chico Hamilton, a moody yet stunning slice of modern music and a molten melting pot ready made for filling the dance floor with remixes from long-term Idjut Boys collaborator and Fiasco imprint boss Ray Mang. The IMPULSIVE! Remix Project features Mark De Clive Lowe’s take on Chico’s classic 60s track "El Toro". OUT NOW is the limited edition 12" 180 gram vinyl from SoulFeast (Brian Michel Bacchus & Joaquin "Joe" Claussell) with their reworking of "Mysterious Maiden" from Chico's 1980 Nomad release, as well as the 12" double vinyl edition of The Alternate Dimensions of El Chico CD EP. Available thru www.dopejams.net. April 14th, 2009 Chico HITS with TWELVE TONES OF LOVE on Joyous Shout!. From Maxwell Chandler's liner notes: "Chico Hamilton looks back not as a summation but with the past as a jumping off point to where he is now; the foundation to build off of what he has to say in the here and now. This album has Chico writing for and playing with an enlarged ensemble, offering us a glimpse of his life’s journey and some of those he has shared it with. It speaks greatly of all the musicians’ skills that they are performing Chico’s compositions yet their interplay becomes another color on his palette, which allows him to further embellish the picture he is painting. This is one of the appealing aspects to all of Chico’s music, an always-organic sense of tension and release. Guest spots include trombonist George Bohanon, who was in one of Chico’s classic sixties ensembles; vocalist Jose James, who studied under Chico at The New School’s Jazz and Contemporary Music program; and multi-reedist Jack Kelso, Chico’s lifelong friend. This album is a celebration of a lifelong romance Chico has had with music and the relationships that came into his life both past and present through his service to the muse. Those who forge their own way may travel a harder road but their art loses none of its power with the passage of time because of these trials. TWELVE TONES OF LOVE is proof of that aphorism to continuously enjoy." On September 27, 2011, marking the legendary drummer/bandleader's 90th birthday (September 20th), Chico released a 22-track CD entitled, Revelation — a visceral journey that oscillates from a melodic point of view to a rhythmic one and is bookended by Chico on drum kit. Works include: the up-tempo Latin groove of "Evanly", funk of "Black Eyed Peas", Lunceford-like band vocals on "Stompin @ The Savoy"; the mid tempo swing of "No Way LA", and the pastoral melodic beauty of "You're Not Alone," to name a few. Chico Hamilton is presently teaching at New School University Jazz Program; touring extensively in North America with "Euphoria" group which includes Nick Demopoulos on guitar, Paul Ramsey on bass, Evan Schwam on flute, tenor and soprano saxes and Jeremy Carlstedt on percussion; recording with his "Euphoria" group and special guests; composing and performing music for film; and working on autobiography. © 1996-2013 Drummer Cafe. All Rights Reserved http://www.drummercafe.com/featured-musician/drummer-percussionist/chico-hamilton.html

1 comment: