This set combines two Chico Hamilton LPs from Impulse Records, El Chico and Further Adventure of El Chico, both issued in 1966 separately. The 18 tracks include pleasant arrangements of the standards "The Shadow of Your Smile," "My Romance," "Stella by Starlight," and pop songs of the era “Monday, Monday,” “Daydream,” and “People.” While the drummer’s choice of musicians on these sessions, including Clark Terry, Charlie Mariano, Gabor Szabo, and Jimmy Cheatham is impeccable, it’s the addition of Latin percussionists Willie Bobo and Victor Pantoja that make these recordings stand out.
In this luminous tale set in the area around Sarajevo and in Italy, Perhan, an engaging young Romany (gypsy) with telekinetic powers, is seduced by the quick-cash world of petty crime, which threatens to destroy him and those he loves.
Gérard Mortier, the director of the Paris National Opera, was definitely taking a risk when he invited the Serb film director Emir Kusturica to create a new work here. Put simply, Mortier was also asking a traditionally conservative audience to embrace a so-called gypsy punk opera, with amplified orchestra and voices, pop-up décor, a flock of geese and a heavy dose of Balkan magical realism.