Here is the 12th volume in the complete chronological recordings of Lionel Hampton as reissued by the Classics label. It opens with Hamp's final five recordings for the MGM label, waxed in Los Angeles on October 17, 1951. This was a 20-piece big band using charts written by Quincy Jones, and the music it made feels much different from what's to be heard in the next leg of Lionel Hampton's odyssey, a Norman Granz-produced quartet session with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich, recorded in New York on September 2, 1953. While the big band sides are exciting and fun, with a hip vocal by Sonny Parker on "Don't Flee the Scene Salty" and a singalong routine led by Hamp on "Oh Rock," the quartet swings cohesively, stretching out for six, seven or nearly eleven minutes, for the LP era had begun and Norman Granz encouraged extended improvisations. The combination of Oscar Peterson and Lionel Hampton, whether cooking together on "Air Mail Special" or savoring the changes of a ballad like "The Nearness of You" made spirits to soar and sparks to fly.
Most of this CD is taken up by a special Newport Jazz Festival concert featuring a big band full of Lionel Hampton's alumni. With trombonist Al Grey, Frank Foster on tenor and a screaming trumpet section that boasted Snooky Young, Jimmy Nottingham, Joe Newman and Wallace Davenport, the explosive nature of the music is not too surprising; the climax is provided by guest Illinois Jacquet on "Flying Home." The remainder of this disc contains half of a very effective 1956 session cut in Spain in which the medium-size group includes a castanet player and two songs match Hampton with the great Spanish pianist Tete Monteliu.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Lionel Hampton was always at his best in a concert setting and this 1979 performance in Haarlem, the Netherlands, is not exception. Fronting a tentet consisting of both veterans and younger musicians, the vibraphonist's energy is contagious to both his band and the audience. The opener, "Glad Hamp" is a furious reworking of the chord changes to "I Got Rhythm," showcasing trumpeter Joe Newman.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a mini description. I have always liked the arrangements in Lionel Hampton & Orchestra recordings. They are powerful, colorful and tasty. As the title 'Sentimental Journey' implies, we're given Lionel Hampton & Orchestra versions of classic standards. And we're blessed with the smooth and lovely vocals of Sylvia Bennett. Made in 1985, the album credits Lionel Hampton for playing not only the vibraphone but also the Yamaha DX-7 (for what? a vibraphone sound? sounds great, though). If you mainly only like Lionel's solo playing, you may not appreciate the big band focus of Lionel Hampton & Orchestra recordings. Solos are shared, but there's a vibraphone solo on every track, of course.
During one of his many tours of Europe, Lionel Hampton assembled a group of all-stars for this 1956 studio session, adding a number of top European players to his regular group. The vibraphonist has the lion's share of solos, dominating the 11-plus-minute interpretation of "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" and showing off a bit with his unique style of playing piano on several selections, including a romp through "Regina's Drag" (which is the same as "12th Street Rag"). "New Saint-Louis Blues" is just an updated version of W.C. Handy's signature tune, with a vocal by Hampton and sassy muted trumpet by Ed Mullens. This date might have been a bit more memorable with more solo features for the vibraphonist's sidemen, but it is hard to overpower one of the greatest jazz showmen of all time.
Lionel Hampton's two-day session for Blue Star in 1976 was a very productive date; he only brought along two regulars, guitarist Billy Mackel and pianist/organist Reynold Mullins, but was joined by an assortment of outstanding European players, including pianist Raymond Fol, alto saxophonist Michel Attenoux (who had worked with Hampton before), trombonist Claude Gousset, tenor saxophonist Gerard Badini, bassist Michel Gaudry, and former Ellington drummer Sam Woodyard, who was living and working in Paris. Hampton was only 68 years old at the time of the recording and still had the reputation for wearing out men a third of his age on the bandstand; his enthusiasm is infectious from the opening number, "Ring Dem Bells," as he introduces each soloist in turn in a lively jam…
Lionel Hampton's series of record dates leading all-star swing bands produced some of the more exciting music of the late '30s. Just on this CD alone, Hampton led groups with musicians drawn from the Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Cab Calloway, and Benny Goodman big bands, among others. Among the more notable performances are Benny Carter's "I'm in the Mood for Swing," a swing version of Jelly Roll Morton's "Shoe Shiner's Drag," tenor saxophonist Chu Berry having one of his best showcases on "Sweethearts on Parade," and a romp on "Twelfth Street Rag." Through it all, Hampton (whether on vibes, two-fingered piano, drums, or singing) often steals the show.
In 1937, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton began leading a series of all-star swing recording dates. Although he would still be a member of Benny Goodman's organization for another three years, Hampton was a natural-born leader and his record dates featured top sidemen from a variety of major jazz bands. This CD begins the chronological reissue of all of this music (except alternate takes). Hampton is teamed with players from the Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington orchestras plus a large assortment of guests. Among the many highlights are "Hampton Stomp" (featuring Hampton playing rapid lines on the piano with two fingers), "Stompology," Johnny Hodges on "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and some good spots for Jonah Jones' trumpet.
Vibraphonist Lionel Hampton and pianist Oscar Peterson are the stars of this delightful collection of jazz recordings supervised by producer Norman Granz over an almost exactly 12-month period extending from 1953 to 1954. Granz's marvelous knack for bringing together excellent musicians resulted in the combined presence of trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie, trombonist Bill Harris, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, tenor saxophonists Ben Webster and Flip Phillips, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Buddy Rich. The combination of musical minds is extraordinary, and Hamp's amazing wavelength is dependably positive and uplifting.