Chico Hamilton (d), Eric Dolphy (as, fl), Dennis Budimir (g), Nathan Gershman (cello), Wyatt Ruther, Ralph Pena (b)
Reference: FSRCD 362
Bar code: 8427328603621
The material selected for these sides is a strong representation of that premise, since it is graded from Chico's jet propelled "Opening", to the moody harmonics of "Lady E". As the artistic history of jazz is written, and its components placed in perspective, the distinctive Chico Hamilton quintet will one day mark a turning point in ensemble creativity.
"This CD features an early incarnation of Chico Hamiltons band featuring a then unknown Eric Dolphy. Utilizing cello and guitar in the front line along with Dolphys multiple instrumental prowess lends an unusual air to the proceedings. Recorded just before Dolphys Prestige debut, one can hear his sound already fully formed. In addition to Gershmans cello stylings, there is an ambience of familiarity for those whove admired Dolphys recordings with Ron Carter on said instrument. Nowhere near as challenging as Dolphys later recordings, this Hamilton led date is still a joy to hear, with its swinging West Coast vibe and almost chamber-esque feel. Pretty Little Theme, Little Lost Bear, and Lullaby for Dreamers are short pieces that exemplify the pseudo-classical aspect of the band. In contrast Opening features blistering Bop tempos while Cawn Pawn is a deliciously slinky Blues groove. This short but sweet set is a welcome discovery and a boon to Dolphy collectors."