by Sky Disco
Sunday night was heartwarming for in several ways for me. Getting to witness the 90 year old jazz legend Chico Hamilton with his ensemble at Drom was unforgettable. Considering Mr. Hamilton is old enough to be my dad's grandfather, the experience was even more priceless with my own dad sitting right next to me. I loved seeing his eyes light up and his feet tap throughout the masterful performance. Everytime the band delivered a standout solo or transition we kept jabbing each other as if to say, "did you hear that?" I was absolutely transported to another dimension by this performance and found myself "rocking out," to jazz, of all things.
Chico Hamilton is quite a character. To see someone at his age with such wit and giddy sense of humor filled me with with the hope of growing old while living a life that you love. He was escorted onto the stage step by step and had to use a walking stick to get to his drum kit. Educating the audience as he drummed with a wire brush, he joked about how it could also be used to clean teeth. He had such control and finesse, playing and conducting at the same time. His band was attententive beyond measure and never missed a moment.
After a few short compositions, Chico stepped down and gave way for the band to each share some of their own compositions, featured on his latest CD, Revelation (Joyous Shout!) Featuring Nick Demopoulos (guitar), Paul Ramsey (bass), Evan Schwam (flute + reeds), Mayu Saeki (flute), and Jeremy Carlstedt (drums + percussion) as well as special featured guest Jimmy Owens, the night was full of artfully dynamic bossa and samba flavors. The flute solos by Saeki really stood out, playing with such passion and soul. The textures she was able to create with her instrument were stunning.
After the band had their fill, Chico claimed the stage again to do a little scatting. Another display of his charisma, there was a suspended ending of a song and as the audience began to applaud, he stopped us and said, "You don't have to applaud, it was was worth it." My father and I gushed over the performance and laughed all the way home. This might make you gush, too: