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Album Review

For the fourth in his series of 2006 releases — a pace that hardly anyone maintains anymore in jazz, least of all an 85-year-old — Chico Hamilton pays a series of tributes to old cohorts, mentors, friends and such with a new batch of originals. The same basic band that backed the previous three releases, Euphoria, is back for this one — and so is trombonist George Bohanon, a regular on these sessions. With guitarist Cary DeNigris doing a creditable impression of Gabor Szabo's gypsy-flavored improvs, "Chicano Heritage" serves as much of a memorial to the late Hamilton sideman as does "One for Gabor." Other melancholy, three-part "One-Offs" pay their respects to others in Hamilton's past — "One for Hale" (Smith), "One for Arnie" (Lawrence), and "One for Lennie" (Hayton). "Mulligan Stew," obviously, is a sauntering salute to the head of the quartet that helped Hamilton establish his name and fame. With "Viva Tirado" and "Blues for Yna Yna," Hamilton delivers idiosyncratic, smoky tributes to a mentor who was also still very much alive, well and actively performing as of this recording — fellow octogenarian Gerald Wilson. On the vocal end, singer Marya Lawrence swings sensually through "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" and "Love Me or Leave Me " — and Hamilton himself sings "Something to Live For" (a most appropriate title for him) with just the accompaniment of DeNigris. Unlike the previous three albums, there is no progressive closing number, but the point had been amply made in the series already. Chico Hamilton has plenty left to say, and his ability to say it is undimmed by age. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


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...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by Chico Hamilton

Heritage, Chico Hamilton
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  • 95,00 kr
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 2006

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