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The Chico Hamilton Quintet was a unique Fifties chamber-jazz ensemble. Hamilton was the drummer – ordinarily an odd choice to lead this kind of group, but Hamilton was probably the most musical drummer in jazz, equal to his contemporary, Shelly Manne, in subtlety and finesse, but tempered by his seven years with singer Lena Horne into a greater musical sensitivity. A west coast jazz deejay, Sleepy Stein, said of Hamilton, “this man plays music, not drums.”

The Quintet was equally… read more

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