Bandleader, drummer and NEA jazz master Chico Hamilton has died. He was 92 years old. Born Foreststorn Hamilton in Los Angeles in 1921, Hamilton’s music career began with some notable high school classmates including future legends in their own right, Dexter Gordon and Charles Mingus. He eventually went on to perform and tour with Lester Young, Lena Horne and Gerry Mulligan before putting together his first quintet in 1955. A landmark group that forged the sound of West Coast jazz while featuring the reeds of Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall, Carson Smith on bass and cellist Fred Katz , the group evolved through a wealth of jazz talent, including Eric Dolphy, Gabor Szabo and Charles Lloyd, who joined the band in 1960. PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2013 Hamilton’s profile was such that he eventually felt the pull of Hollywood, and his group made a notable cameo in “Sweet Smell of Success” in 1957, which starred Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster and also featured Hamilton’s music. He later wrote the soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s thriller “Repulsion” in 1965.
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