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Chico Hamilton

Chico Hamilton (born Foreststorn Hamilton, September 20, 1921), is an American jazz drummer and bandleader. Hamilton was born in Los Angeles, California. He had a fast-track musical education in a band with Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnet, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established him as a jazz drummer, and he struck out on his own as a bandleader in 1955. Hamilton appeared in the March Milastaire number in the film You'll Never Get Rich (1941) as part of the backing group supporting Fred Astaire, and performed on the soundtrack of the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope film Road to Bali. He recorded his first album as leader in 1955 with George Duvivier (double-bass) and Howard Roberts (jazz guitar) for Pacific Jazz. In same year Hamilton formed an unusual quintet in L.A. featuring cello, flute, guitar, bass and drums. The quintet has been described as one of the last important West Coast Jazz bands.

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