Chico Hamilton is one of the few art adventures: a true musical pioneer, a Miles Davis of drums. He has been true to that from his early performing days on with his school buddies Dexter Gordon and Charles Mingus and the orchestras of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, through his time with the legendary Gerry Mulligan Quartet until he started his own bands to experiment with unusual instrumentation, to the present with his current band Euphoria, formed in the mid-80s, whose style Hamilton terms „Heavy Metal Jazz“. Defying categorization, he never stopped doing what he has always loved best – making music. Julian Benedikt accompanied the now 88-year-old for a period of two years. The film grants a unique insight into the drummer’s life – musical as well as private – and includes comments by his wife Helen, his manager Jeffrey Caddick, filmmaker Roman Polanski, saxophone wizard Gerry Mulligan, the Rolling Stones‘ Charlie Watts, French Jazz critic Maurice Cullaz and others.
The version from 1994 was reissued as a director’s cut in 2002.
With: George Avakian, Arthur Blythe, Jeffrey Andrew Caddick, Cary DeNigris, Buddy Hank, Chico Hamilton, Helen Hamilton, Andrew Hill, Lena Horne, Rodney Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Eric Person, Roman Polanski, Hale Smith, Charlie Watts, Michael Wollman.
© 1993/94 und 2002 / 60 min. and 82 min.
Production: Benedikt Pictures
Co-production ZDF/Arte, 3Sat, RM Associates, VCC Perfect Pictures, Konken Studio
Producer: Julian Benedikt
Script/Director: Julian Benedikt
Camera: Thorsten Hauer
Editing: Michael Werlusching
Format: S-16 mm / Color