Chico Hamilton

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 has tried unusual constellations of sound in chamber music ensembles, drumming with the view of a dancer. His specialty was " a delicate springy beat with subtle differences in dynamic cymbal crash, come back more on the now numerous drummer. "

Life and work

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

1952 Hamilton founded together with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, the piano -less Mulligan -Baker Quartet, which set the standards for the development of jazz music and Hamilton made ​​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 it previously did not exist, he scored again a success with the public, as well as through the integration of a cello in his chamber music at the Third Stream embossed quintet since the mid- 1950s. This quintet, which achieved its breakthrough at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956, was with different occupations ( as successively with the woodwinds Buddy Collette, Paul Horn, Eric Dolphy and Charles Lloyd, with cellist Fred Katz and guitarist Jim Hall and Dennis Budimir ) to 1966 with great success. In the audience, it was considered typical of the West Coast jazz. He then worked as a composer for advertising and film music. Since about 1987 he has performed with his group Euphoria.

He wrote film scores for the U.S. Gerald McBoing - Boing series in the 1950s. The mid-1960s he composed the music for Roman Polanski's classic disgust, 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.

Disco Graphical Notes


  • The Complete Pacific Jazz Recordings of the Chico Hamilton Quintet ( 1954-58 ) - ( Mosaic - 1997 ) - 9 LPs ​​or 6 CDs with Buddy Collette, Fred Katz, Jim Hall, Carson Smith, Paul Horn, John Pisano g, Hal Gaylor b, Eric Dolphy, Nate Gershman cello