Born Forestorn Hamilton in Los Angeles in 1921, Hamilton is considered one of the most important living jazz artists and composers.
In 1955, Hamilton created an unusual jazz quintet consisting of cello, flute, guitar, bass and drums, which is often described as one of the most influential of the West Coast jazz bands. Hamilton also recorded his first album as a bandleader in 1955.
The original quintet consisted of flutist Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall, cellist Fred Katz and bassist Jim Aton. Hamilton toured from 1957 to 1960, with several personnel changes over the years.
Flutist Paul Horn and John Pisano were part of the group when they appeared in the film "Sweet Smell of Success" in 1957. The group, now including Nate Gershman and Eric Dolphy appeared in the film "Jazz on a Summer's Day" in 1960. Hamilton and Dolphy recorded the albums "With Strings Attached", "Gongs East", "The Three Faces of Chico", and "That Hamilton Man".
Hamilton's resume includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, albums as a bandleader, and countless international tours.
In March 2011, with his 90th birthday six months off, Hamilton and his Euphoria qroup held a marathon recording session that resulted in 28 new tracks.
Video is from the album "The Master" (1973): Kenny Gradney on bass, Sam Clayton and Simon Nava on congas, Chico Hamilton on drums, Lowell George on slide guitar, and Stu Gardner on organ.