Chico Hamilton

Ellington Suite

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Drummer Chico Hamilton had a reunion of his original quintet (Buddy Collette on tenor and alto, guitarist Jim Hall, cellist Fred Katz and bassist Carson Smith) plus Paul Horn (on alto and flute) from his second group for a program of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn tunes. A rather obscure set (not yet reissued on CD), this date has fresh versions of a lot of familiar standards including "It Don't Mean a Thing," "In a Mellotone," and a medley of "Take the 'A' Train" and "Perdido." Well worth picking up by listeners fortunate enough to find it, this is one of Hamilton's hardest-swinging sets of the 1950s.

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