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6th Avenue Romp

Artist: Chico Hamilton
Chico Hamilton - 6th Avenue Romp CD
Label: Joyous Shout!
Regular Price: $16.95
On Sale For: $6.78 
Year: 2006
Format: CD


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The third of four releases in Chico Hamilton's astonishing burst of creativity in his 85th year is just about as fresh and open-minded as the previous two, while weighted more toward R&B territory. The concept is supposed to be a celebration of Los Angeles in the 1960s (and '70s), mostly of the soul scene, with some detours into the band books of Duke Ellington ("Take the 'A' Train," with trumpeter Jon Faddis on hand) and Count Basie ("Topsy"). Actually "Topsy" qualifies as an era-straddler, stamped equally by Basie's big band and Cozy Cole's rock & roll treatments -- and Hamilton's take is relatively straight-ahead, and mostly a showcase for guitarist Cary DeNigris. You cannot mistake the distinctive sound and feel of Hamilton's assortment of grooves as he kicks the fatback funk on "Chicken Pox" and "Cleo's Back," swings relentlessly on the "Route 66"-flavored "Thunderwalk," churns out a truckin' shuffle beat in the reprise of "Ain't No Sunshine," and eventually brings in the distinctive Hamilton bossa groove on Stevie Wonder's "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)." As in the previous two 2006 albums, Juniflip and Believe, Hamilton saves his most progressive thrust for last. With an accordion setting the riff, "I'm Still Thirsty" sounds like a propulsive marriage of electronica, zydeco and fast bossa nova. Yet the track bears his character; essentially, 6th Avenue Romp is an update and expansion of the kinds of grooves that he was knocking out in the '60s. Although sometimes the album tends to drift into loose, aimless jamming, the overall vitality of this CD, like that of its companions, is an inspiration to all of us -- including octogenarians.
Chico Hamilton (drums, vocals); Cary DeNigris (guitar); Paul Ramsey (fender bass); Evan Schwam (flute, tenor and soprano sax); Andrew Hadro (flute, clarinet, alto and baritone sax); Geoffrey Countryman (flute, alto and baritone sax); Jeremy Carlstedt (percussion, drums)
  1. Cleo's Mood
  2. You've Really Got A Hold On Me
  3. Topsy
  4. Ain't No Sunshine
  5. Elevation
  6. Take The A Train
  7. Chicken Pox
  8. Strollin With Bone
  9. Thunderwalk
  10. I Believe
  11. Gotta Make Things Right
  12. Cleo's Back
  13. Ain't No Sunshine (Reprise)
  14. I'm Still Thirsty
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