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Ken Dryden

Chico Hamilton Centennial Celebration Broadcast

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On Sunday, September 19, I will host a celebration of Chico Hamilton's recordings as a leader. It will range from 1953 to the last decade of his life.

I interviewed Chico by phone twice in his later years for Hot House articles. Oddly enough, he was one of the first musicians I met at the only NEA Jazz Masters reception to which I was invited. I spent a lot of time walking the room and for the most part, taking casual photos of the musicians, rather than trying to get them to pose. 

Streaming at wutc.org fro,m 3 to 5 EDT on Sunday, September 19.

 

 

Edited by Ken Dryden

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Will this be available to stream after broadcast too?

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18 minutes ago, Ken Dryden said:

I've uploaded the show to archive.org, since our station doesn't offer podcasts of music shows.

It can be found here:

https://archive.org/details/timeless-jazz-9-19-2021-chico-hamilton-centennial

I am in the process of posting the playlist on the WUTC scheduling page, but I will post the link here when I get done.

 

That's great, thank you so much.  I look forward to listening to it tomorrow

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Thanks for posting this, Ken.  I'll definitely give it a listen!  :tup

 

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It's funny, but I find myself more interested in listening to Chico's Quintet of the 50s lately, than anything else.

Thanks for your many years of covering IMHO the best jazz has to offer, Ken.

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10 minutes ago, sgcim said:

It's funny, but I find myself more interested in listening to Chico's Quintet of the 50s lately, than anything else.

Thanks for your many years of covering IMHO the best jazz has to offer, Ken.

I do like the 50s stuff quite a bit, but I gravitate toward the 60s impulse! albums with Gabor Szabo.  I really love those Eastern-tinged grooves they would get into.  

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It took me until hour 2 to get out of the 1950s for this show. I really enjoyed those groups, but Chico Hamilton kept evolving.

Here is the link to the full playlist, though I am not sure that the link works:

<iframe src="http://composer.nprstations.org/widgets/v2/playlist/index.html?ucs=52efef04e1c88f2f9b77741b&prog_id=5c54a2a4656c033d7244ecf3&dateFilter=2021-09-19&timeFilter=15%3A00" width="100%" height="500" frameborder="0" seamless></iframe>

 

 

Edited by Ken Dryden

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3 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I do like the 50s stuff quite a bit, but I gravitate toward the 60s impulse! albums with Gabor Szabo.  I really love those Eastern-tinged grooves they would get into.  

Re-airing this Night Lights show in honor of the centennial this week:

A Different Journey: Chico Hamilton In The 1960s

Very cool that you're doing such a far-reaching overview of his career, Ken!

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I tell people all the time - don't sleep on Chico Hamilton. Every now and then, somebody pays attention and lets me know, aHA! NOW I see what you mean.

If nothing else, every drummer who bothers to really tune their kit needs to listen to how Chico tuned his, and then how he was able to work with that tuning in combination with different attacks tools. Same thing with his cymbals.

Even if one does not "like" his drumming, the "what" of how he played, surely one must recognize the severe musicality of how he played it. In that regard, the guy was a true master.

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Jim, that is indeed one of the strengths of Chico Hamilton's recordings. He got a unique sound and didn't feel the need to dominate the proceedings as some drummer-led groups were prone to do. It was fun rehearing some tracks that I hadn't heard in awhile and there were plenty of surprises of music that had faded from my mind.

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And between the ages of 85-88, he released nine new albums!

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You've gotta LOVE the fact that he also included  Arthur Lee of the rock band LOVE singing "Black Coffee" on one of his later albums. I think it was the last thing Lee recorded before he passed away from Leukemia.

I got to see Lee perform the entirety of "Forever Changes" with excellent accompaniment by the band Baby Lemonade (plus trumpet and a string trio) before he passed.

He rewarded Baby Lemonade by firing them for reasons that only a psycho like Lee could understand, as he did with everyone he ever worked with.

 

Edited by sgcim

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10 hours ago, sgcim said:

You've gotta LOVE the fact that he also included his nephew Arthur Lee of the rock band LOVE singing "Black Coffee" on one of his later albums. I think it was the last thing Lee recorded before he passed away from Leukemia.

I got to see Lee perform the entirety of "Forever Changes" with excellent accompaniment by the band Baby Lemonade (plus trumpet and a string trio) before he passed.

He rewarded Baby Lemonade by firing them for reasons that only a psycho like Lee could understand, as he did with everyone he ever worked with.

I wonder if he showed his uncle Chico any respect?

Chico Hamilton was Arthur Lee’s uncle?! :blink: File under you-learn-something-new-every-day! 

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17 hours ago, Ken Dryden said:

I've uploaded the show to archive.org, since our station doesn't offer podcasts of music shows.

It can be found here:

https://archive.org/details/timeless-jazz-9-19-2021-chico-hamilton-centennial

I am in the process of posting the playlist on the WUTC scheduling page, but I will post the link here when I get done.

 

Thanks again for posting this. A thoroughly stimulating listen that will encourage me to listen to more of Chico's later albums from Soul Note and Koch

11 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Chico Hamilton was Arthur Lee’s uncle?! :blink: File under you-learn-something-new-every-day! 

Me too!

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5 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Chico Hamilton was Arthur Lee’s uncle?! :blink: File under you-learn-something-new-every-day! 

I was wrong about the tune Arthur Lee recorded with Chico. It was "What's Your Story Morning Glory?" I think Ken reviewed that album:

I always was fascinated with the observation that Frank Zappa made about the record business in the 60s, when you still had these 'old guys' running the labels, who were willing to take a chance on unusual music, just for the sake of, "hey, maybe it'll make a few bucks for us". As a result, you got people like Arthur Lee, whose music appealed to jazz musicians at the time, and who collaborated with Bryan McLean, a Musical Theater songwriter, whose "neighbor Frederick Loewe, of the songwriting team Lerner & Loewe, recognized him as a "melodic genius" at the age of three as he doodled on the piano. His early influences were Billie Holiday and George Gershwin"

Another fascinating figure was the leader of the 60s band Circus Maximus, Bob Bruno, who is a multi-instrumentalist jazz musician and composer. He's still years ahead of his time.    He'd be a fascinating person to interview for a radio program.

https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=837257&content=about

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Well, Slim Gaillard was Marvin Gaye's father-in-law.  

Thanks for posting this-I got a really positive reaction to the Live at the Strollers version of Stella by Starlight from Mrs. Duckworth, so I'm ready to let this roll.

 

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On 9/16/2021 at 9:58 AM, Niko said:

are you sure that Hamilton was Lee's uncle? For instance, here

https://www.si.edu/media/NMAH/NMAH-AC0808_Hamilton_Chico_Transcript.pdf

it would have been quite logical for Hamilton to mention this, when he's discussing how his son Forestorn Hamilton Jr was the manager of Love and the name Arthur Lee pops up... 

 

On 9/16/2021 at 9:58 AM, Niko said:

are you sure that Hamilton was Lee's uncle? For instance, here

https://www.si.edu/media/NMAH/NMAH-AC0808_Hamilton_Chico_Transcript.pdf

it would have been quite logical for Hamilton to mention this, when he's discussing how his son Forestorn Hamilton Jr was the manager of Love and the name Arthur Lee pops up... 

You expect me to read 150 pages? I read Lee's biography a long time ago, so maybe you're right.

Maybe it was his son that hooked him up with Chico. They were both products of mixed race marriages. Lee's real name was Arthur Porter.Taylor. I read about some connection they had when this book was published.

Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book Of Love - The Authorized Biography of Arthur Lee (LIVRE SUR LA MU) Paperback –. It's only 336 pages.

 

 

Edited by sgcim

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21 minutes ago, sgcim said:

 Lee's real name was Arthur Porter.Taylor.

So Arthur Lee was actually Art Porter AND Art Taylor?

Geez, no wonder the guy was so confused about life...

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Just now, JSngry said:

So Arthur Lee was actually Art Porter AND Art Taylor?

Geez, no wonder the guy was so confused about life...

He knew what he wanted, and if he didn't get his way, he'd beat the crap out of you. He was a bully as a kid, and he stayed one all his life. He fired his whole band when they were recording "Forever Changes", and replaced them with the Wrecking Crew on a few tunes, until they begged him for another chance.

When the band asked him where the money was from their first album, he showed them his new sports car, and said, "There it is", and drove off, laughing. The title of Forever Changes came from when he split up with his girlfriend, and she said, "Last night you told me you loved me forever!" So he answered her, "Well, forever changes!

He turned down the chance to play at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, because he said it was too far away (They almost never left LA), and he didn't work for free (like all the other bands who played there agreed to do).

He turned down the chance to play at Woodstock,, because he said it was too far away, and didn't pay enough.

He fired the guitarist on "Four Sail", by telling him to meet him in the studio the next morning, and when the guitar player showed up, there was a sign on the door saying, "You're fired, *****! The guitarist, Jay Donnelan, still has no idea why he was fired.

Confused? The guy was nuts!

 

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So whose voices was he hearing? Arthur Lee's, Art Porter's or Art Taylor's?

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8 hours ago, sgcim said:

 

You expect me to read 150 pages? I read Lee's biography a long time ago, so maybe you're right.

Maybe it was his son that hooked him up with Chico. They were both products of mixed race marriages. Lee's real name was Arthur Porter.Taylor. I read about some connection they had when this book was published.

Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book Of Love - The Authorized Biography of Arthur Lee (LIVRE SUR LA MU) Paperback –. It's only 336 pages.

 

 

nothing wrong with reading those 150 pages - but I thought you'd just use the search function to find the phrase "arthur lee" right in the middle of the document on p.75... I'd even say that this particular passage is a bit confusing and a casual reader could get the impression that Arthur Lee is Hamilton's son - even though this is clearly not what it says... so, while I didn't have any particular expectations, I did have the suspicion that maybe you'd read it before

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