The original Chico Hamilton Quintet was one of the last significant West Coast jazz bands of the cool era. Consisting of Buddy Collette on reeds (flute, clarinet, alto, and tenor), guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and the drummer/leader, the most distinctive element in the group's identity was cellist Fred Katz. The band could play quite softly, blending together elements of bop and classical music into their popular sound and occupying their own niche. This six-CD, limited-edition box set from 1997 starts off with a Hamilton drum solo from a 1954 performance with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet; it contains three full albums and many previously unreleased numbers) by the original Chico Hamilton band and also has quite a few titles from the second Hamilton group (which has Paul Horn and John Pisano in the places of Collette and Hall).
The film The Sweet Smell of Success, released in 1957 was a barely disguised film noir study on columnist Walter Winchell. Originally released in two volumes, one featuring the score and the other the jazz elements are now combined into this re-mastered and mixed edition, a milestone in the history of film-scoring. Playing piano on this record is film music icon John Williams. Other all-stars include Shelly Manne, Paul Horn, Pete Condoli, Ted Nash, and more.
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.
A totally excellent bit of funk from Chico Hamilton – working with a great group that more than helps their leader live up to the album's title! The record's a real lost gem – and it's got Chico working in much funkier territory than before, grooving with complicated rhythms, and a heavy sound that features lots of work on organ and guitar. Lowell George (of Little Feat fame) is playing slide guitar in the group, giving the sound a great, muddy propellant – which only gets stronger with the help of Simon Nava and Sam Clayton on congas, plus heavy organ and piano by Stu Garner, Jerry Aiello and Bill Payne. Includes the killer Latin groover "Conquistadores 74", plus "Stu", "Feels Good", "Fancy", "Stacy", Gengis" and "I Can Hear The Grass Grow".