Monday, July 4, 2016

Chico Hamilton - Complete Studio Recordings (1954-1956)

How do you make chamber jazz ? Chico Hamilton did it utilizing a guitarist, a cellist, a bassist, a reedman, and of course a drummer. Lone Hill Jazz has reissued the complete studio recordings of this unusual yet intriguing quintet, augmented by two additional tracks from the same era, one by the string trio from the above quintet and one by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chico Hamilton on drums. We should congratulate Lone Hill for releasing such valuable music in an attractive package yet again. The remastering of the sound is very good, but the bass is a bit hard to hear on the first six tracks. This, however, does not diminish the quality of the music or the enjoyment one gets from it. The music is more conventional than the lineup suggests. The cello acts as a frontline instrument together with the reeds; the guitar leads the rhythm section on some of the tracks and joins the frontline on the others. Imagine 19th Century European Romantic music infused with a strong dose of the blues and you can get a pretty good idea about this music. Of course no description can replace actually hearing it. Needless to say, all of the musicians excel on their respective instruments, and it’s a joy to hear them solo. Chico Hamilton plays the drums in his unique manner, coaxing melodies and complex rhythms out of them. The drum solo on the last track with the Gerry Mulligan quartet is mellifluous and extremely infectious. The music on this disc has the relaxed feeling of a Saturday night at home, but that does not mean it is boring. It is varied and exciting and holds one’s interest from the first track to the last. These recordings have not changed the course of modern music like Kind Of Blue or A Love Supreme, but they are still fresh fifty years later and further testament to the universality of jazz as a music and as an art form.
Hrayr Attarian

Source :

The Original
Chico Hamilton
Complete Studio Recordings


1 A Nice Day (Collette)  2:56
2 My Funny Valentine (Rodgers, Hart)  4:18
3 Blue Sands (Collette)  6:31
4 The Sage (Katz)  3:35
5 The Morning After (Hamilton)  2:10
6 Jonalah (Smith)  2:21
7 Chrissie (Hall)  3:53
8 The Wind (Freeman)  3:38
9 Gone Lover (When Your Lover Has Gone) (Swan)  3:51
10 The Ghost (Collette)  5:11
11 I Want To Be Happy (Youmans, Caesar)  2:13
12 Spectacular (Hall)  5:19
13 Free From (ad lib)  5:05
14 Walking Carson Blues (Smith)  6:15
15 Buddy Boo (Magidson, Wrubel)  5:20
16 Stella By Starlight (Young, Washington)  2:40
17 A Bark For Barksdale (Mulligan)  8:24


Chico Hamilton - dr
Buddy Collette - reeds
Jim Hall - g
Fred Katz - cel
Carson Smith - b
Gerry Mulligan - bs
Jon Eardley - tp
Red Mitchell - b

Recorded in Los Angeles, Long Beach & Stockton ; between 1954 & 1956

(See the complete artwork for all details)


PlantDoctor53 said...

Thank you Mel!

Orbyt said...

One of my very favourites. Thank you Mel.

Orbyt said...

Here's the session info:

Tracks 1~15:
Chico Hamilton Quintet:
BUDDY COLLETTE (Reeds-Flute, Clarinet, Alto & Tenor Sax);
JIM HALL (Guitar);
FRED KATZ (Cello);
Recorded at Radio Recording, LA, August 23, 1955 [#1-5], January 4, 1956 [#6-10], and live at The Strollers, Long Beach, CA, on August 4 or November 11, 1955 [#11-15].

Track 16:
Chico Hamilton Quintet:
WITHOUT Chico Hamilton or Buddy Collette.
Recorded live at The Strollers, Long Beach, CA, on August 4 or November 11, 1955.

Track 17:
Gerry Mulligan Quartet:
GERRY MULLIGAN (Baritone Sax);
JON EARDLEY (Trumpet);
Recorded live at Stockton High School, Stockton, November 12, 1954.

obelix said...

Thank you !

Philo said...

Wonderful music. Very enjoyable.

And thanks to Orbyt for the session details.

Anonymous said...



ZM-JazzRock said...

Thank you very much. Chico Hamilton was one of the greatest drummers of his time, and also was an "ahead-of-his time" musician.
And what to say about the side-gentlemen on these recording dates...? Marvellous!
My X'mas present arrived earlier this year!
Regards from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
-- zm

neil said...

Lost this somewhere, mel, so many thanks for the re-up...

musician3 said...

Excellent....................Thank You

Débora Marques said...

I didn't find the PW. Please...
. Thanks

Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Thank you.

Gaetano Bevilacqua said...


Peter said...

Dear Melanchthon,

just marvellous, thank you.

AmyBRAINS said...

It's a wonderful music and very nice artists.
Thanks a lot, Melanchthon.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You