Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just Announced: Chico Hamilton


Chico Hamilton is a jazz drummer.

He was born in Los Angeles in 1921 and was raised locally as the Central Avenue jazz scene was beginning to coalesce. In the 1940s, he performed with Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He appears in the “March Milastaire” number in the film You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) as part of the backing group supporting Fred Astaire. He was one of the original members of the Gerry Mulligan quartet of the early 1950s. During the late 1950s, Hamilton pioneered a style sometimes called chamber jazz. He performed on the soundtrack of the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope film, “The Road to Bali” and on a number of tours with Lena Horne. In 1958, he brought Eric Dolphy to wider prominence.

The group changed directions in the 1960s. New talents such as saxophonist Charles Lloyd and guitarists Gabor Szabo and Larry Coryell started out performing with him. He composed the soundtracks for films such as Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion”.

Over the years, Hamilton has performed with legendary artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole.


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