New Posthumous Album by Jazz Legend Chico Hamilton Featuring His Long-Time Ensemble EUPHORIA
The Inquiring Mind (Joyous Shout!) to be Released 2.25.14
New York City, NY: Marking his 65th CD and final in-studio recording session, NEA Jazz Master and legendary composer/drummer Foreststorn “Chico” Hamilton (1921-2013) shares his highly anticipated posthumous album The Inquiring Mind (Release Date: 2.25.14). Featuring his long-time quintet EUPHORIA, this 19-track album includes newly composed material that embodies Chico’s remarkable high standard of musicianship, groove and consistency.
Recorded at the age of 92 during his final weeks in the Fall of 2013, The Inquiring Mind captures the best of Chico’s legacy. “Chico never skipped a beat. He composed and performed his last songs with just as much soulfulness and richness as he did with his first,” explains Evan Schwam of EUPHORIA. “This album demonstrates that Chico himself is timeless.”
Described as “one of the city’s most buoyant combos (Time Out New York),” EUPHORIA has been digging into Chico’s repertoire since 1989 and has built an undeniable chemistry under the direction of its veteran leader. Five songs off of the recording are written by members of EUPHORIA; each indiscernible from Chico’s own compositions (a testament to his prowess as a nurturing bandleader).
From salsa to waltz to blues, The Inquiring Mind oscillates amongst varying musical styles, complex tempos and changing emotions. According to music critic Maxwell Chandler, “this album presents a catalyst for aurally induced reverie. A thousand thoughts, each a color which further paints a picture that is always compelling; emphasizing different aspects of itself with each listen. Chico continues to keep time in rhythm and emotion.”
The leading tune “Joy of Spring” introduces a samba beat symbolizing the blossoming of a new season while the somber “Tone Poem” showcases Chico’s signature churning of mallets alongside contemplative silence. Highlighting the CD is “Gateway to the Inquiring Mind” in which you hear the sweet, speaking voice of Chico ruminating on the nature of existence. Guest spots include: trombonist George Bohanon, who was a member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet with Charles Lloyd and Gabor Szabo in the early 1960s; and fellow NEA Jazz Master trumpeter Jimmy Owens.
Composers: Chico Hamilton, Jeremy Carlstedt, Jimmy Owens, Paul Ramsey, Mayu Saeki, Evan Schwam, J. Tizol
Performers: Jeremy Carlstedt (drums, percussion + vocals), Nick Demopoulos (guitar + vocals), Mayu Saeki (flute, alto flute + vocals), Evan Schwam (saxophones, flute + vocals); and special guests George Bohanon (trombone) & Jimmy Owens (flugelhorn + trumpet)
Tracks: Joy of Spring, Money Wish, Up To You, Perdido, Hope, Who Knows?, Nice Lick, CHO=Chico Hamilton Organization, Nate’s Night, Tone Poem, 534 Play, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Gateway to the Inquiring Mind, If Tomorrow Never Comes, Where is Today, Reluctant, Albert’s Tune, Nate Sure, No Wheels, Any Space In Time
The New York City-based quintet EUPHORIA celebrates the music of the legendary composer/drummer and NEA Jazz Master Foreststorn “Chico” Hamilton (1921-2013). EUPHORIA has been capturing the essence of Chico’s spirit since its formation in 1989. It maintains its monthly concert series at NYC’s DROM and has appeared on 15+ recordings with Chico. EUPHORIA is comprised of Paul Ramsey (bass), Evan Schwam (saxophones, flute + piccolo), Jeremy Carlstedt (drums + percussion), Mayu Saeki (flute) and Nick Demopolous (guitar).
About CHICO HAMILTON
Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Foreststorn “Chico” Hamilton, was born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles. Saluted by the Kennedy Center as a “Living Jazz Legend”, and appointed to the President’s Council on the Arts, this NEA Jazz Master is considered one of the most important jazz artists and composers. Chico has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours.
A fiercely creative and inspired drummer, he is better known for the series of quintets that he led during 1955-1965 and for his ability as a talent scout. Chico’s impact upon jazz includes the introduction of a unique and unconventional sound. In 1955, he formed his first quintet – a chamber group that combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette. One of the last important West Coast jazz bands, the Chico Hamilton Quintet was immediately popular and appeared in a memorable sequence in 1958's Jazz on a Summer's Day and the Hollywood film The Sweet Smell of Success.
Chico is a founding member of the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in New York City. Subsequently, he received the school’s Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz”. Chico passed away on November 25, 2013. Up till his final days, you could find Chico rehearsing, recording and performing with his “Euphoria” group, composing for film and working on his autobiography.
Chico Hamilton’s EUPHORIA - The Inquiring Mind
2014 CD Release Concerts @ DROM, 85 Avenue A, NYC Wednesday, Feb 12 at 7:15pm Sunday, Mar 16 at 7:15pm Sunday, Apr 27 at 7:15pm Sunday, May 18 at 7:15pm Sunday, Jun 22 at 7:15pm