Always HIP and ever the consummate MODERNIST, Chico swings with gusto and verve on 'Believe.' Up front and center is a special guest appearance from legendary vocalist and R & B diva Fontella Bass on three tracks including: "Love Me A Long, Long Time" (a hit for the original Gerald Wilson band in the 40's!!); "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" out of the Lunceford songbook; and "Believe In Him", a Hamilton penned spiritual. Reprising his special guest appearance on 'Juniflip,' former Hamilton band member trombonist George Bohanon augments Chico's working "Euphoria" group on six tracks including: the New Orelans swagger of "Evan'sville"; the chamber-like opening (reminiscent of Chico's group of the 50's) of another swinger on "My Brother Don"; the Oliver Nelson hued "Bones, No Meat"; the gentle bossa-lilt of "My Brother Bernie"; the rollicking "Andrewmatic"; and on a swinging arrangement by Cary DeNigris of The Who's "The Kids Are Alright".
A slight touch near the end of 'Juniflip,' was the addition of percussionist Jeremy Carlstedt to Chico's "Euphoria" mix, and with 'Believe' Jeremy's percussion permeates each track. Each of the other "Euphoria" bandmembers stamps his unique and distinct voice to the different journey that is 'Believe:' whether it's tenor saxist Evan Schwam blowing Illinois Jacquet-ish on P.O.D.'S post-9/11 anthem "Alive"; bassist Paul Ramsey waxing poetic on his latina flavored "Kristina"; guitarist Cary DeNigris brings us a tour de force on Chico's "Arroyo" with it's Spanish feel; or baritone saxist Andrew Hadro blowing for his life on "Andrewmatic".
Love Me A Long, Long Time
Bones, No Meat