This CD represents him at a more innocent time when jazz was not so adulterated by more popular forms, and is a fine West Coast style time capsule for the era.
"In the liner notes, drummer Hamilton states "I have never made a straight-ahead record." This one comes pretty close. It swings with fervent joy -- not bad for the 71-year-old veteran. Electric guitarist Cary DeNigris, and saxophonist Eric Person from Hamilton's larger working ensemble, take these shared themes to logical conclusions, and offer rather melodic repartee between themselves. It's a stripped down approach that seems to serve the drummer quite well, as his own voice and musical director. Hamilton wrote two pieces: "Song for Helen," a beautiful meditational hymn, on which Hamilton himself does not play, but DeNigris' shimmering, slow chords, and Person's sonorous alto mesh well; and "Around the Corner," a slow and bluesy swing with a fine hi-hat solo, and free section in the middle of two-note phrases which bookend this ABCA form. "See Saw" has ostinato alto and harmonic unison guitar floating over Hamilton's lightning-quick brushes. De Nigris wrote the distended phrases with the easy blues, slight bossa feel of "A Little After Twelve," loaded with fragmented, sparse interplay. His "Sound Rising" offers more psychedelic guitar against quick brush work. Person penned the highlight, "Tenth Vision," a heavy and lustrous piece, with ostinato guitar chords wrapped around the saxophonists inquisitive soprano, and Hamilton's tom toms with a jungle-imaged bridge. "29," also by Person, is a loping, near ethereal number, with a slinky workout for the three underneath an implied march rhythm. "C & C," with just drums and guitar, has a definite rock edge. A most impressionistic soprano or sopranino sax from Person, on "Love of Life," merges with an irresistible modal swing, where the band really comes together. Fans of Hamilton should enjoy this tremendously; purists may not. That his music is individualistic is a credit to Hamilton's endurance as a singularly minded figure in American-based, improvised music. Recommended." (Source: Michael G. Nastos, AllMusicGuide)
|Display Artist||Chico Hamilton|
|Release date||Dec 30, 1993|
|Product type||full album|