Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Degree of Separation

from Chico Hamilton that is. It's been rough period; first Buddy Collette and now Tony Curtis. And what do these two dissimilar artists have in common? CH.
Collette is heard here in fine form with Hamilton's 1955 quintet. (To understand why guitarist Jim Hall cites Charlie Christian as a major influence, just listen up.) Buddy's been listening to Lester Young and has assimilated the tenor giant with great style. In all, a breezy example of West Coast cool before it got frigid and rigid.

Tony Curtis crossed paths with Hamilton a few years later on "The Sweet Smell of Success." I've not seen all of either Tony or Chico's film appearances, but it's likely that neither was ever more riveting than in this cinematic gem. (Alright, Chico was more effective in "Jazz On a Summer's Day" -- he didn't have any lines)

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