Rest In Peace, Chico Hamilton

 

chico

Legendary jazz musician and leader of the Euphoria ensemble Chico Hamilton has passed away.

Coming up as a rising jazz drummer alongside other heavyweights such as Charles Mingus in high school, Chico played with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and others, cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with early on.

In 1987, he helped found the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in NYC, a place dear to many of our hearts.

His ensembles helped develop talent like Gabor Szabo and Larry Coryell, amongst many others. Chico is also credited as an influence for many contemporary talents such as Carlos Santana, Joe Claussell, Jose James, Mark de Clive-Lowe and Thievery Corporation.

Honored as a “Living Jazz Legend” by the Kennedy Center and as an NEA Jazz Master, Chico Hamilton was seminal to the jazz community, culture, and history. Material from his October 2013 recordings with his Euphoria ensemble will be released as the The Inquiring Mind in early 2014.

We are grateful to have had Chico as part of our own history here at Giant Step as well – he will be sorely missed.

The ongoing event series, Celebrating the Life & Music of Foreststorn ‘Chico’ Hamilton will continue on December 15 at Drom in NYC. Come out and pay homage to one of the greats.

Video: ERIMAJ – “Conflict Of A Man”

 

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Our pal Jesse Boykins III told us we needed to hear this cat named Chris Turner, so looked him up. Chris is a super talented vocalist from Oakland that also happens to be Bilal’s backup singer. After a little chat with Chris, we stumbled onto his band, ERIMAJ. The core of the band consists of drummer and band leader Jamire Williams, trombonist and composer Corey King, and of course, Chris Turner on the vocals.

“Conflict Of A Man” is the group’s first single with this hazy dreamscape of a video directed by none other than miss Tiombe Lockhart. The sound is jazzy and soulful, with vocals reminiscent of Bilal. All these New School alums are on some serious voltron status. Go ahead, y’all. Sounding great.

Purchase “Conflict Of A Man” on iTunes | Amazon

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