The Grio is reporting that legendary jazz drummer Forestorn “Chico” Hamilton has died of natural causes. Charles J. Gans of the Associated Press writes:
“A National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master who was saluted as a Living Jazz Legend by the Kennedy Center, Hamilton recorded more than 60 albums as a bandleader, beginning in the 1950s, and also appeared in and scored films.
He continued playing into his 90s and recorded an album “Inquiring Minds” last month with his Euphoria ensemble scheduled for release in early 2014.
Some of the future jazz stars nurtured in his bands included guitarists Jim Hall, Gabor Szabo and Larry Coryell, saxophonists Eric Dolphy and Charles Lloyd, and bassist Ron Carter.
Born in 1921 in Los Angeles, Hamilton performed in a high school jazz band that included saxophonist Dexter Gordon, bassist Charles Mingus and other classmates destined to become jazz greats. He told jazz writer Marc Myers that he believes he acquired the name Chico because ‘I was always a small dude.'”
Hamilton is known as the architect of the West Coast style of cool jazz. He was 92.
Read more at The Grio.