Chico Hamilton

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chico Hamilton at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in New York City 2007

Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton (born September 21, 1921 in Los Angeles , California , † November 25, 2013 in New York City ) was an American drummer and composer of modern jazz . He tried out unusual sound constellations in chamber music ensembles and drummed with the concept of a dancer. His specialty was "a delicately resilient beat with fine dynamic differentiations in the cymbal beat, to which numerous drummers are now increasingly coming back."

Live and act

Chico Hamilton, an older brother of the actor Bernie Hamilton , experienced the heyday of Hollywood as a teenager and already ran a jazz combo with school friends like Dexter Gordon and Charles Mingus in which he played the clarinet. When he switched to drums, he had a gig with Duke Ellington when he was seventeen . This was followed by recordings with Slim Gaillard and a tour with Lionel Hampton . As early as 1941 he was in the film You'll Never Get Rich (1941) as part of Fred Astaire's band ; at 21 he appeared on stage with Ella Fitzgerald and Lester Young . He later became a club drummer at Billy Berg's, a well-known jazz hangout in Los Angeles. Many of the famous jazz greats played there, including Miles Davis , Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie , and Hamilton had the opportunity to perform with all of them. After his military service, where he was tutored by Jo Jones , he played in the band of saxophonist Lester Young ( The Complete Aladdin Recordings ) in August 1946 , then with Count Basie . From 1948 he accompanied Lena Horne .

In 1952, Hamilton founded the piano-less Mulligan-Baker Quartet with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker , which set standards for the development of jazz music (for example with My Funny Valentine ) and made Hamilton known throughout the country. The success of the quartet meant that Hamilton got an offer for a recording under his own name, which he recorded with Howard Roberts and George Duvivier . With the combination of guitar-bass-drums, which did not exist before, he achieved another success with the audience, as well as by integrating a cello into his quintet, which has been characterized by chamber music on the Third Stream since the mid-1950s. This quintet, which made its breakthrough at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956, had different line-ups (one after the other with the woodwinds Buddy Collette , Paul Horn , Eric Dolphy and Charles Lloyd , with cellists like Fred Katz or Nathan Gershman and guitarists like Jim Hall or Dennis Budimir ) very successfully until 1966. The audience considered it typical of West Coast jazz . He then worked as a composer for commercials and film music . Since around 1987 he has performed with his group Euphoria .

He wrote film scores for the American Gerald McBoing Boing series in the 1950s. In the mid-1960s he composed the music for Roman Polański's classic Ekel , and later for films such as The Sun Goddess (1993) and Love at First Sight (1991) by Rudolf Thome .

In 2004 he received the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship .

Discographic notes

  • 1956 - The Buddy Collette - Chico Hamilton Sextet: Tanganjika ( Dig Records )
  • 1956 - The Essential Billie Holiday - Carnegie Hall Concert (Verve)
  • 1958 - With Strings Attached / The Three Faces of Chico (Warners)
  • 1958 - Gongs East (Discovery)
  • 1962 - Passin 'Thru ( Impulse! Records )
  • 1962 - Man from Two Worlds (Impulse! Records)
  • 1965 - El Chico (Impulse! Records)
  • 1966 - The Dealer (Impulse! Records)
  • 1989 - Reunion ( Soul Note )
  • 1990 - Arroyo (Soul Note)
  • 1992 - My Panamanian Friend (Soul Note)
  • 2001 - Forestorm (cook)
  • 2009 - Twelve Tones of Love (Joyous Shout!)


Web links

Commons : Chico Hamilton  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary in Ottawa Citizen
  2. Martin Kunzler Jazz Lexicon
  3. At first he wanted to use a French horn instead of the cello; the intended musician John Graas was not sufficiently available.
  4. ^ Buddy Collette, Steven Louis Isoardi: Jazz Generations: A Life in American Music and Society . P. 132ff.
  5. ^ Ted Gioia West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California, 1945-1960 , p. 189