Chico Hamilton Bargain

February 21, 2009

Nicolai Foss

Over the years Chico Hamilton (b. 1921) has featured an unusual number of talented guitarists in his many groups. His first recordings as a leader was with a trio featuring a young Howard Roberts (recorded in Dec.1953), and his somewhat later quintets — with a cello in the lineup — featured John Pisano and Jim Hall. His early 1960s quintet featured Gabor Szabo and Larry Corryell played with him around 1970.

Avid Jazz offers a twofer with Hamilton’s first three albums at a bargain price. The music is pleasant chamber jazz with plenty of space for the guitarists (Hall, Pisano, Roberts). I think this must also be some of the earliest recorded work of Hall, who plays marvelously (on a Les Paul). Definitely worth buying.

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