Chico Hamilton Quintet
It is doubtful that any other combo leader in jazz has made the jump from sideman to maestro more rapidly or more uccessfully Than Chico Hamilton. The Los Angeles-born drummer, a sideman with name bands throughout the 1940s and subsequently member of Lena Hornes accompanying trio for several years, did not really get into action as a leader until 1955, when he formed his quintet. Their initial impact undoubtedly was helped by the quintets instrumentation. With Chico on drums, Buddy Collette on flute, clarinet and saxes, Fred Katz, cello, Jim Hall, guitar, and Carson Smith, bass, they presented an innovative sound. Never did they overpower, or use high decibels as a substitute for inventiveness. In a little more than a year on the road Chicos quintet established itself as one of the best-drawing small jazz units in the field.