Chico Hamilton


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This is an LP long overdue to be reissued on CD. In 1960, Charles Lloyd succeeded Eric Dolphy in the Chico Hamilton Quintet, a cool jazz group famous for its use of a cello. However, since Nate Gershman (unlike his predecessor Fred Katz) did not improvise, the group was much more limited than its predecessors. By 1962, with the urging of Lloyd, Hamilton had completely revamped the personnel, having a quintet that replaced the cello with trombonist Garnett Brown and also included guitarist Gabor Szabo and bassist Albert Stinson. Drumfusion was the new band's debut and it is a strong effort, featuring group originals and exciting solos from Lloyd (on tenor and flute), Szabo, and Brown. The music is melodic at times but not boppish, free in spots but not avant-garde. This is a continually infectious and inspiring band, one that deserves to have all of its records reissued.

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