Johnny Hamlin

When it began its long and successful career in San Diego in 1950, the Johnny Hamlin Quintet, with its swinging, multitextured and multicoloured arrangements, might have invited superficial comparison with the celebrated John Kirby small band of the 1940s. Like the Kirby band, it drew together several elements stemming from the Swing Era, but, aided by the group’s doubling ability – its members handled over a dozen instruments - its use of them was relatively unusual.

Although the quintet played tightly knit arrangements with close, rich voicings interspersed with brief, briskly effective solos, there was no sense of imitation about what they did. Among its soloists, Art Mooshagian on trumpet and valve trombone was particularly good, while Leland K. Baska Jr, and Charlie McFadden had the ability to deliver some interesting solos on the multiple reed instruments they play. On piano the...

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Johnny Hamlin Albums

1 record