Chico Hamilton: Lady Gabor
Chico Hamilton (drums)
Man from Two Worlds (GRP GRD 127)
George Bohanon (trombone), Albert Stinson (bass).
Composed by Gabor Szabo.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 18, 1962
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Though they are not recognized as often as other Hamilton-led groups, this may have been the drummer's finest. After Charles Lloyd was appointed musical director earlier in 1962, the young tenorman disbanded Hamilton's outdated chamber jazz group and reformed with younger progressives eager to forge ahead on the trails blazed by Coleman, Dolphy and Coltrane.
"Lady Gabor," written by guitarist Gabor Szabo, indicates exactly where this new Hamilton quintet was heading. The 6/4 groove is hypnotic and mysterious, with repetitive contrapuntal figures from Szabo and trombonist Bohanon lurking beneath Lloyd's eerie flute melody. A unison rubato section by Lloyd and Bohanon leads into the solo vamp, during which the flutist balances his Memphis blues background with non-Western melodic influences and a mystical airiness. In Szabo's mesmerizing solo, he sustains a drone with ringing open strings and the natural resonance of his guitar's body, while simultaneously creating haunting, sitar-like quarter-toned improvised lines. Lloyd and Szabo's unaccompanied duet at 11:43 shows not only their shared interest in Eastern music, but also their rapport with one another. A fantastic and spellbinding track.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic