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sgcim

The Complete Studio Recordings of The Chico Hamilton Quintet Featuring Eric Dolphy and Dennis Budimir

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Fresh Sound put this out, and after I picked up the Ellington re-issue of the CH Quintet with Dolphy, I couldn't see how you could go wrong with more Dolphy during this period.

Dennis Budimir had not yet begun his long tenure as an LA studio musician, which he claims burnt out every bit of creativity he had as a jazz player, and he sounds very good here, acting as a good foil to the literally on fire Dolphy.

This re-issue is worth getting just to hear Dolphy with a large string section. Hearing his incredibly strong sound with strings is a frightening experience; it was like seeing King Kong for the first time. He makes his appearance on 'Close Your Eyes', and it's like some wild beast has just entered what was a tranquil setting, and scares the schist out of you.

Dolphy doesn't hold back as much as he did on the Ellington album, and isn't afraid to show his Bird roots, and maniacal chops on most cuts of this two CD re-issue.He seems to be everywhere at once on some cuts; playing difficult arrangements by the great Fred Katz, and then blowing his brains out on the solos.

Katz isn't playing on this set; Nate Gershen takes his place as Katz writes the wild arrangements, composes most of the tunes, and conducts the approx. fifteen piece string ensemble.

After hearing the much more laid back arrangements and tunes Katz did for the original Hamilton Quintet, I wasn't prepared for some of the more dynamic writing Katz does here, and he seemed to be writing with Dolphy and Budimir in mind. While there are sections of the Cool, chamber jazz from the original Quintet, many of the cuts were virtuoso showcases for Dolphy (on alto, bass clarinet and flute), and Budimir.

It almost sounds surrealistic to hear Dolphy play the A section to 'Under Paris Skies' with a classical sax vibrato, and then loosen up and play the major key sections with a swinging mainstream sound, and then later take no prisoners on his solo. Almost every tune on this set is arranged episodically, with most of them providing enough blowing space for the soloists before going back to the original statements of the themes.

This could have been one of the all-time top West Coast groups, but it ended when Budimir went into the studios, and Dolphy left to launch his own career, and then join Mingus. Even Hamilton plays some inspired stuff using brushes that I never heard him do much of in the comparatively sedate original group.

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So I love hearing Dolphy on this, but the music itself is... eh.  Not nearly as good as either the original quartet w/Collette or the later ensemble w/Lloyd.

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I guess we're talking about this album being on the Fresh Sound

https://www.discogs.com/Chico-Hamilton-Quintet-With-Strings-Attached/release/1352090

in which case, I really enjoy it for the arranging and everyone's playing, not least Dolphy's. I'm now intrigued as to what else might be on the FS compilation so heading back to Discogs

@Guy Berger, I know what you mean but I've really warmed to this album as a bit of an outlier in the catalogue as it has a mix of strings and non-strings tracks where that quintet sound comes to the fore again.

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Even though I've put Guy Berger on ignore (and reading his post reminds me why), I read his post and can only reply:

This is 'eh'?

BTW, it was written by Dolphy!

 

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22 hours ago, sgcim said:

Even though I've put Guy Berger on ignore (and reading his post reminds me why), I read his post and can only reply:

This is 'eh'?

BTW, it was written by Dolphy!

 

So yeah, good track.  But if we’re talking 3 Faces of Chico, the rest isn’t at that level.

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I'd agree with you. Whilst the solo drum track is interesting the vocal tracks are "interesting". Still glad to have the album though, it's Chico of this period

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I really like the solo tracks on that album.

or track, it's been a while.

Either way, Chico Hamilton as a drummer is something to be reckoned with.

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How does this overlap with the Chico Hamilton set on Mosaic (which I love)?

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6 hours ago, jfire said:

How does this overlap with the Chico Hamilton set on Mosaic (which I love)?

No overlap.

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