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CHIC CHIC CHICO
Chico Hamilton
Hollywood: January 4, 1965

John Anderson (tp); Lou Blackburn (tb); Henry Sigismonti (fhr); Bill Green (f,pic); Harold Land (ts); Gabor Szabo (g); Albert Stinson (b); Chico Hamilton (d).

a. (90242A) Corrida de Toros (Gabor Szabo) - 5:35
b. (90243A) Carol's Walk (Chico Hamilton) - 6:36
c. (90244A) Fire Works (Gabor Szabo) - 5:52
d. (90245A) St. Paddy's Day Parade
     (Chico Hamilton) - 3:09
e. (90246A) Tarantula (Gabor Szabo) - 3:03
f. (90247) Swampy (Gabor Szabo) - 2:45
g. (90248) What's New (Bob Haggart/
     Johnny Burke) - 6:02

New York City: March 15, 1965
Charles Lloyd (f); Jimmy Woods (ts); Gabor Szabo (g); Albert Stinson (b); Chico Hamilton (d); Willie Bobo (per).

h. (90302) Chic Chic Chico (Manny Albam) - 2:47
i. (90304) How's Rio

Note: (1) Gabor Szabo does not play on "Big Noise from Winnetka" (90303) from this session and may not play on "How's Rio." (2) This version of "Carol's Walk," originally listed in Impulse's master listings as "Carol's Theme," differs from those versions featured in REPULSION .

Issues: a-h on Impulse A(S) 82, Impulse IT 2007 [R2R], Impulse (Jap) 3070. 
Singles: b & h also on HMV (E) 5066 [45]. 
Samplers: a & c also on Impulse AS9213-2 titled CHICO HAMILTON: HIS GREAT HITS (issued 1971). b also on Harkit (E) HRKCD 8246 [CD] titled THE FILM MUSIC OF CHICO HAMILTON. h also on Impulse AS-9174 titled THE BEST OF CHICO HAMILTON (issued 1968) and Impulse 314 547 958-2 [CD] titled THE DEALER
Producer: Bob Thiele and Sid Feller
Engineer: Not Listed
Notes: George Hoefer


While a rather tepid transition in Hamilton's recording career, CHIC CHIC CHICO is clearly a showcase for Gabor Szabo's formidable talents. Szabo's playing throughout is, as usual, notable; however the material weakens the overall impression. Land, a strong and talented West Coast tenor player, was a logical addition to the Hamilton group; yet he seems misplaced as a foil for Szabo.

The guitarist's four contributions to the Hamilton canon, his first since the definitive "Lady Gabor," strive toward a compositional and arranged outline rather than the sketches Szabo would perfect later in his career. More significantly, all four titles seem reasonably indebted to the clever Monk-like simplicity of Charles Lloyd's compositions.

"Corrida de Toros" (translates as 'bullfight') is, very much in the tradition of "Passin' Thru," a familiar Szabo/Lloyd theme. Szabo mixes his unique fingering techniques with a dramatic flair and pulls off the album's strongest overall performance. More carefully scripted is the unusually complicated barrage of "Tarantula." This busy number loudly pronounces itself as an exercise rather than a performance; intending, apparently, to prove Szabo's ability to "compose" a jazz piece. "Tarantula" is appreciable most in the sense that it sets up Szabo's lovely introductory performance of "What's New." The short, catchy "Swampy" is a two-part homage to Charles Lloyd and offers little room for improvisation.

"Fire Works" begins interestingly with a two-chord, minor-key blues pattern. Szabo's single-note improvisation here, unusual and harmonically challenging, establishes a looser improvisational formula Hamilton would later exploit on the more Latin-oriented EL CHICO album. Half way through the song, though, the horns enter obtrusively and it all ends in a cluttered, thoughtless mess. Significantly, Jimmy Woods is not present on these recordings.

 

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