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Thoughts Of...

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Album Review

The title of this CD pretty much sums it all up, as this great jazzman reflects upon those who have inspired him throughout his storied career. Here, drummer Chico Hamilton and his base quartet receive additional support — on selected tracks — from guitarists Larry Coryell, Joe Beck, and Rodney Jones, signifying those who have respectively worked with the drummer at various stages of his career. Moreover, saxophonists Karolina Strassmayer and Erik Lawrence augment the quartet's swing, groove, and funk permutations on selected pieces. With this release, Hamilton spurs his soloists through walking blues motifs and breezy West Coast-style swing vamps amid a divergent set featuring strong soloing and emphatically articulated choruses. Essentially, Hamilton's hipness shines forth with a multitude of prismatic colors to coincide with a few ballads, where the leader's affecting vocals reaffirm his upbeat demeanor. It's a celebratory affair, indeed — especially on pieces such as "Thoughts of Miles (Freddie Freeloader)," where the musicians incorporate, yet shrewdly re-engineer Miles Davis' classic "Freddie Freeloader" into a personalized statement. Overall, Hamilton melds a little tenderness and pizzazz into a program that's springing with true sentiment. (Recommended.)


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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Thoughts Of..., Chico Hamilton
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