Jimmy Hamilton

Jimmy Hamilton

born on 25/5/1917 in Dillon, SC, United States

died on 20/9/1994 in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, U.S.

Jimmy Hamilton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jimmy Hamilton (May 25, 1917 – September 20, 1994) was an American jazz clarinetist, tenor saxophonist, arranger, composer, and music educator, best known for his twenty-five years with Duke Ellington.


Hamilton was born in Dillon, South Carolina, and grew up in Philadelphia. Having originally learned to play piano and brass instruments, in the 1930s he started playing the latter in local bands, before switching to clarinet and saxophone. In 1939 he played with Lucky Millinder, Jimmy Mundy, and Bill Doggett, going on to join the Teddy Wilson sextet in 1940. After two years with Wilson, he played with Eddie Heywood and Yank Porter.

In 1943, he replaced Barney Bigard in the Duke Ellington orchestra, and stayed with Ellington until 1968. His style was very different on his two instruments: on tenor saxophone he had an R&B sound, while on clarinet he was much more precise and technical. He wrote some of his own material in his time with Ellington.

After he left the Ellington orchestra, Hamilton played and arranged on a freelance basis, before spending the 1970s and 1980s in the Virgin Islands teaching music. On his retirement from teaching he continued to perform with his own groups in 1989 and 1990. Hamilton died September 20, 1994 in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, at the age of 77.


As leader

  • 1953: "Big Fifty"/"Rockaway Special" (States Records)[1]
  • 1954: Jimmy Hamilton Orchestra (Jazz Kings)
  • 1955: Accent on Clarinet (Urania)
  • 1955: Clarinet in Hi-Fi (Urania)
  • 1960: Swing Low Sweet Clarinet (Everest)
  • 1961: It's About Time (Swingville)
  • 1961: Can't Help Swinging (Prestige)
  • 1985: Rediscovered Live at the Buccaneer (Who's Who in Jazz)
  • 1991: Jimmy Hamilton & the New York Jazz Quintet (Fresh Sound)
  • 1997: Sweet but Hot (Urania tracks - Drive Archive CD)
  • 1999: Jazz in July: at the Lafayette Club (Hambone Records)
  • 1999: Live at the Buccaneer (Jazz Time)

As sideman

With Duke Ellington (partial listing)

  • The Seattle Concert (RCA Victor, 1952)
  • 1954 Los Angeles Concert (GNP Crescendo 1987)
  • Historically Speaking (Bethlehem, 1956)
  • Duke Ellington Presents... (Bethlehem, 1956)
  • Ellington Uptown (Columbia 1952)
  • Liberian Suite (Columbia 1956)
  • Ellington at Newport (Columbia 1956)
  • The Cosmic Scene (Columbia 1959)
  • Festival Session (Columbia 1960)
  • Blues in Orbit (Columbia 1960)
  • Piano in the Background (Columbia 1961)
  • All American in Jazz (Columbia, 1962)
  • Concert in the Virgin Islands (studio recording) (Reprise 1965)
  • Soul Call (Verve 1967)
  • Far East Suite (RCA Victor 1967)
  • And His Mother Called Him Bill (RCA Victor 1968)
  • All Star Road Band (Doctor Jazz, 1957 [1983])
  • All Star Road Band Volume 2 (Doctor Jazz, 1964 [1985])

With Johnny Hodges

  • Used to Be Duke (Norgran, 1954)
  • Creamy (Norgran, 1955)
  • Ellingtonia '56 (Norgran, 1956)
  • Duke's in Bed (Verve, 1956)
  • The Big Sound (Verve, 1957)
  • Not So Dukish (Verve, 1958)
  • Blue Pyramid (Verve, 1966) with Wild Bill Davis
  • Blue Notes (Verve, 1966)
  • Triple Play (RCA Victor, 1967)
  • Don't Sleep in the Subway (Verve, 1967)
  • Swing's Our Thing (Verve, 1967) with Earl Hines

With Oscar Pettiford

  • Basically Duke (Bethlehem, 1954)

With Lucky Thompson

  • Accent on Tenor (Urania 1954)

With Clarinet Summit

  • In Concert at the Public Theater (1984)
  • Southern Bells (1987)


  1. ^ Pruter, Robert; Campbell, Robert L. and Kelly, Tom "The United and States Labels Part I" Archived July 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved August 25, 2009

External links

  • Jimmy Hamilton — brief biography by Scott Yanow, for AllMusic.

This page was last modified 09.02.2019 19:01:36

This article uses material from the article Jimmy Hamilton from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.