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Album Review

In 1989, 34 years after the formation of the somewhat unique Chico Hamilton Quintet, the original members (with one exception) reunited for a tour and this Soul Note recording. In addition to drummer Hamilton, Buddy Collette (heard on flute, clarinet and alto), cellist Fred Katz, bassist Carson Smith, and guitarist John Pisano (Jim Hall's first replacement) complete the group. This studio session only includes one standard remake of "I Want to Be Happy" and is comprised of then-recent originals by band members, with two selections ("Brushing with B" and "Conversation") being freely improvised duets by Collette and Hamilton. So, rather than merely being an exercise in nostalgia, this excellent set features the Quintet members as they sounded in the late '80s, creating new music for their classic sound.


Born: 21 September 1921 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Chico Hamilton, a subtle and creative drummer, will probably always be remembered 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...
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