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Marking Chico’s 90th Birthday

Chico Hamilton - Revelation

The sage drummer/bandleader and NEA Jazz Master, Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton is slated to premiere 28 tracks on a trio of releases this Fall 2011 — marking the legend's 90th birthday on September 20th. Revered for laying down flawless rhythms, Chico recorded a wealth of new, original material to be presented in three courses: Revelation CD (Release 9/27/11) marking Chico's 60th album to date; and two EPs, Revelation and Euphoric (Release Date 9/13/11). A testament to his strength as a bandleader, Chico assembled talent both young and old: Paul Ramsey on bass; Nick Demopoulos on guitar; Evan Schwam on flute & reeds; Mayu Saeki on flute; and Jeremy Carlstedt on drums and percussion.

With 60 albums as a leader, many more as a sideman, and a track record spanning nearly 70 years, Chico may be living proof that creativity is the fountain of youth. While rehabilitating from a health setback during the Summer of 2010, Chico spent countless hours composing, rehearsing, and conjuring up new works in his midtown Manhattan apartment. With the help of his group's intrepid rehearsal schedule, Chico was revitalized and subsequently, served as the impetus for three different recordings that portray this "Revelation."

Having a "reputation as one of the most polished, adventurous, and inquisitive drummers in jazz, as well as that of being an adept composer," (Jazz Times) Chico couples his master storytelling with his music of breadth, depth, and surprise.

Chico HamiltonHis latest album, the 22-track Revelation CD, takes listeners on a visceral journey that oscillates from a melodic point of view to a rhythmic one and is bookended by Chico on drum kit. Works include: the up-tempo Latin groove of "Evanly", funk of "Black Eyed Peas", Lunceford-like band vocals on "Stompin @ The Savoy"; the mid tempo swing of "No Way LA", and the pastoral melodic beauty of "You're Not Alone," to name a few.

On September 13th, Chico releases an EP double- header. The Revelation EP (10" vinyl), which features tracks off of the Revelation CD, pays homage to Chico's very first 1955 recording as a leader, Chico Hamilton Trio (10" vinyl) on Pacific Jazz with Howard Roberts & George Duvivier. As fresh and vibrant as the first, "Revelation" EP is a fitting tribute to Chico's longevity as a leader. In addition, the Euphoric EP serves as Chico's proverbial salute to his group of 24 years, Euphoria. The recording features some of the band members' original compositions.

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