Chico Hamilton
The Dealer


4.5
superb

Review

by 50iL USER (18 Reviews)
September 26th, 2017 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1966 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For Mods Only.

NOTE: This review is for the version with bonus tracks. Tracks 8, 9, 10, and 11 are not included in the original pressing but are essential nevertheless. For said reason, the aforementioned tracks are considered as part of the album on this write-up.

It's imperative to point out Chico Hamilton’s The Dealer is a rather particular listen. The album’s first half makes it seem like an upbeat, feel good representation of jazz. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it is soul-filled music that feels revitalizing at the very least. Melodies are simple but effective, and elements of typical jazz are used thoroughly. The casual nature of the music doesn't hold back the musician’s merit. Rather, it sounds like they are very experienced and only paying homage to more traditional forms of jazz. This is well showcased on “A Trip;” a cool and sleek feeling tune demanding of an attentive listen.

However, the album gradually descends into an off kilter aura. As if on a downward sanity spiral, the band is acquiring some kind of craze. The most glaring example of said craze is on the stunning Thoughts, where a bizarre, experimental approach is used to tremendous effect. This marks a definite tonal change on the album. From then on, it becomes even more erratic. This is most obvious on “Jim-Jinnie,” a borderline avant garde track that would easily fit into Miles Davis’ experimental era. The track is so absurdly mad that it even has someone shouting their lungs out in the background. Strangely enough, the album soon goes back to more traditional feeling jazz. However, the charming thing about the end of the second half is that it feels eerily calm. Because of the overwhelming tension created in the middle of the album, it is simply impossible to look at The Dealer traditionally again. Said tension is also maintained by underlying dissonance employed on tracks like El Toro that feel like they could burst at any moment. This gives a new spin on the music, as it now feels like a controlled schizophrenic ballad rather than a simple jazz tune.

It is only possible to fully appreciate this record when looking at it as a whole experience. Chico Hamilton managed to create a monster of an album, an effort steeped with undeniable uneasiness. Ironically, that makes it all the more fantastic, as it feels like the record is a living and aware being that bears a hidden mania in its nature. Such is an odd way to phrase music, but it unequivocally gives the album the soul it deserves.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
50iL
September 26th 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4rlWU4jCyR9PSzJ6nVcpxL?si=DutDIEZg

Special thanks to Ramon for proofreading this review!



First review in a long time, album deserved it.

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Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2017


2563 Comments


Sounds cool, you get a pos my boi

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Archelirion
September 26th 2017


5650 Comments


I'd say a couple of points in the penultimate paragraph may have needed a little more fleshing out, as opposed to "it's crazy // it's even more crazy" which was the point I got at one point - but I knew what you were getting at and tbf the review was pretty great on the whole (especially the first paragraph), so take a pos :]

SandwichBubble
September 26th 2017


9424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey-o

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SandwichBubble
September 26th 2017


9424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed.



Nice to see this reviewed!

50iL
September 26th 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks fellas



Ahha, small typo. Finger slipped on mobile

butcherboy
September 26th 2017


9464 Comments


this sounds good.. and the review is good.. all is good on this side of sputnik..

50iL
September 26th 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Many thanks Butcher, means a lot coming from you

TheCrocodile
September 27th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the review dude, criminally overlooked album

50iL
October 1st 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ay, thanks for looking man. Album is so overlooked it isn't even funny

Drifter
October 3rd 2017


15325 Comments


Snoop's discog is pretty overlooked

50iL
October 3rd 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*sigh*

50iL
October 3rd 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Snoop is a no-no

Drifter
October 3rd 2017


15325 Comments


Says the guy who's only heard 3 albums of his. One of which being his most/2nd most panned

50iL
October 3rd 2017


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

3 albums were more than enough, thanks

Drifter
October 3rd 2017


15325 Comments


Smh



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