An interesting if quite diverse set, this album is best remembered for featuring up-and-coming singer Bobby McFerrin on a few selections. McFerrin has his moments, as does tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman and such notable sidemen as altoist Steve Coleman, John Purcell on reeds, either Kenny Werner or Mark Thompson on piano, Freeman's longtime bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart, among others. The material (by Freeman, Thompson and Werner) is actually not that significant, and the date on a whole is less memorable than many of Chico Freeman's earlier sets, but it has its enjoyable spots.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Quite possibly the best album to feature the talents of Chico Hamilton and Eric Dolphy – a set recorded at a time when Dolphy was an up-and-coming player on the west coast scene! Although Chico Hamilton had recorded with unusual reed players before, Dolphy brings a depth of soul and spirit to this album that's missing from a lot of Chico's earlier work at the time – a style that still holds onto some of the measured qualities of the Pacific Jazz work by the Hamilton group, yet which also opens up into some of the darker corners that Dolphy would explore more on his own recordings of the 60s.
Chico Hamilton Trio Introducing Freddie Gambrell is an album by drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton released on the World Pacific label. Freddie Gambrell was a little known West Coast pianist playing at San Franciscos Bop City club when, in 1956, Chico Hamilton heard him for the first time. I was so impressed while listening to him play that I felt I must play with this guywhich often happens to a musician when he hears something that he really digs, especially if he is right there when its happeningand so I did, said Hamilton. Gambrells fresh, lively talent was immediately accepted throughout the jazz scene when his playing was heard on his first album, under Chico Hamiltons leadership.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Other than two selections put out on a sampler and the soundtrack from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, this LP is quite significant for having the first recordings of Eric Dolphy with the Chico Hamilton Quintet. Dolphy's solos (on alto, flute and bass clarinet) are brief, but he already sounded fairly distinctive. The third version of Hamilton's popular Quintet also included the drummer/leader, cellist Nate Gershman, guitarist Dennis Budimir and bassist Wyatt Ruther. On this album, half of the tunes are played by the basic quintet, while the remaining five songs have an added string section. The West Coast jazz chamber music generally holds one's interest, but has been out of print for some time.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Different is right – as this obscure early 60s side shows Chico Hamilton really opening up, moving past the modern chamber style of the late 50s, into the freer modal rhythms that characterized his incredible work of the 60s! The group's the beginning of that sound too – with Charles Lloyd on tenor and flute, Gabor Szabo on guitar, and Albert Stinson on bass – joined by George Bohannon on trombone, who slides around the grooves to expand the bottom of the album's sound nicely!
One more amazing chapter in the mighty development of drummer Chico Hamilton – a killer 70s session for Blue Note – and a record that goes way beyond his earlier experiments of the 50s, modal grooves of the 60s, and funk work for the Flying Dutchman label! The style here is fusion, but way fresher than the usual type – neither jamming rock-styled, nor mellow and smooth – and instead always tickled by Hamilton's sense of a unique rhythm, and his continued great ear for inventive use of reeds – in this case handled by Arthur Blythe on alto and Arnie Lawrence on soprano and tenor sax. The set's also got Steve Turre on bass and trombone, and both Barry Finnerty and Joe Beck on electric guitars – but the real genius is Chico himself, who handled arrangements and wrote most of the album's great tracks. Titles include the exotic number "Abdullah & Abraham" – plus "Andy's Walk", "Peregrinations", "It's About That Time", "Sweet Dreams", "On & Off", "Little Lisa", and "Space For Stacy".
Chico Hamilton in the 70s just can't miss – he's really changed loads from his mellow 50s work in LA, and has a tendency to go for a hard grooving sound – but also one that's slightly left of center than the work of most other 70s jazz drummers – and we mean that in a good way! This cooking set for Blue Note is a great example of that offbeat approach – a tight set of fusion tracks with a warm finish and an edgey approach to the rhythms – awash with some really compelling numbers that will have you hunting down the rest of Chico's work from the decade!
This edition presents the complete original Chico Hamilton LP Drumfusion (Columbia CS8607), appearing here on CD for the first time ever. Also included is the only known alternate take from the session, which was only previously issued on a long out of print compilation LP. To complete this CD, Hamilton’s following album, Passin’ Thru (Impulse AS-29) had been added. It had never been released before in its entirety on a single CD and includes a second version of “Transfusion”. Both LPs feature nearly the same personnel, with Garnett Brown and George Bohanon alternating on trombone.