CHICO HAMILTON: DANCING TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER is a 60 minute documentary
film about Chico Hamilton's music, career and life that premiered on the French/German
Arts Network ARTE on November 28, 1994 and had a viewer ship of 165,000 people
in France and 50,000 people in Germany. The film was repeated in December,
1994 and May, 1995. The roots of this film go back to an evening that director
Julian Benedikt was spending in a disco in Munchen, Germany dancing to a particular
Latin tinged track which he very much enjoyed by an artist with whom he was
not familiar. Upon asking the DJ who it had been, Julian learned that he had
been dancing to a track called "Conquistadores" which Chico had recorded for
Impulse! in the 60's. In 1988, Julian happened to see an advertisement for
a Chico Hamilton performance at a small Munchen jazz club called Allotria,
decided to see if this was the same Chico he remembered from the track in the
disco, and ended up striking up a friendship with both Chico and his manager
Jeffrey Andrew Caddick. In 1991, Julian made his feature film acting debut
with a film by the German director Rudolf Thome, LIEBE AUF DEN ERSTEN BLICK,
and lobbied Rudolf to hire Chico to score and record the music for the soundtrack.
Over a two year period in 1993 and 1994, Julian conceptualized, raised money
for and executed this film.
The film is both historical in nature, discussing Chico's roots, influences, family, and focusing on his career as a leader from 1955 to present, and features much footage of his current groups. Appearing in the film are interviewees such as Charlie Watts, Roman Polanski, Gerry Mulligan, Hale Smith, Andrew Hill, Eric Person, Cary DeNigris, Jeffrey Andrew Caddick and Helen and Denise Hamilton. The film also includes footage shot in the studio while Chico was recording the Dancing To A Different Drummer solo drum CD for the Italian Soul Note label, and while Chico was recording an as yet unreleased duo recording with pianist Andrew Hill.
There is also much live footage of Chico's performances, including at The Bottom Line in New York City with his EUPHORIA group, at the Moers New Music Festival in Germany with his EUPHORIA group, at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with his REUNION group, and at the Art Park Jazz Festival in Buffalo with his TRIO!. Also discussed in the film is Chico's composing for films, including scenes from Polanski's REPULSION and Thome's LIEBE AUF DEN ERSTEN BLICK, Chico's 6 years spent as a sideman with Lena Horne, and Chico's presentation to a national audience of legendary saxophonist Eric Dolphy.
Julian is presently working on plans for an expanded 90 minute version of this documentary for film, to be marketed towards film festivals and an eventual theatrical release.
To contact Julian Benedikt, send e-mail to Julianbenedikt@aol.com