Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A fine showcase for Chico Hamilton as a triple-threat artist: drummer extraordinaire ("Miss Movement," "Trinkets," etc.), vocalist ("She's Funny That Way," "The Best Things in Life Are Free," "Where or When"), and, of course, leader. His vocals are reminiscent of Nat King Cole, with subtleties all his own, and his drumming is just as impressive amid its own set of superlatives, many of which are shown off on the Hamilton originals "Happy Little Dance" and "Trinkets."
Drummer Chico Hamilton introduced many top young players during his years as a bandleader, but few probably realize that Larry Coryell made his recording debut with Chico a year before joining Gary Burton's quartet. The Dealer marks Coryell's initial appearance on record, and at times he sounded oddly like Chuck Berry (especially on "The Dealer"). Also heard on this set are altoist Arnie Lawrence, bassist Richard Davis, organist Ernie Hayes (on two numbers), and, on his spirited boogaloo "For Mods Only," Archie Shepp making a rare appearance on piano. Most of the performances still sound surprisingly fresh, especially the explorative "A Trip," making this an underrated but worthy release.
A veteran pianist deserving of wider recognition, Larry Vuckovich has spent several decades on the American jazz scene since leaving his native Yugoslavia for the U.S. in the early '50s. For the most part the songs on these 2011 sessions focus on bop and hard bop from the late '50s and early '60s, ranging from solo piano to trio, quartet, and quintet, featuring tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton on five selections. Vuckovich's working group includes tenor saxophonist Noel Jewkes, bassist Paul Keller, and drummer Chuck McPherson. Vuckovich's solo treatment of Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" mixes glistening lines with jaunty bop, while his approach to Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" is lush with a few Tatum-inspired runs added for fun.
It's never easy to be the sibling of a star when you're active in the same profession – ask Joey Travolta or Frank Stallone, and try to find out what happened to John Murray, one of Bill's brothers. Similarly, David Knopfler, younger brother of Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, has often remained in his brother's shadow, unfairly remaining a footnote in the famous British band's history and not always gaining much recognition for his solo work – provided people know he's remained active in music at all. The comparison to the abovementioned actors is misleading, however, since they all possess little of their siblings' talent, whereas David Knopfler has proven himself to be a talented musician with considerable songwriting skills of his own and several strong solo releases under his belt.