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.
Tab Benoit's funky, ragged blend of Louisiana swamp blues and East Texas guitar, with hints of funk, soul, and country thrown in to give the gumbo just the right spice, has served him well since he burst on the scene in the early '90s. Since Benoit hasn't essentially changed his sound since, this collection of sides made up largely from his early releases for Houston-based Justice Records (all of Benoit's Justice albums have been reissued by Vanguard Records in recent years) makes an ideal introduction to what this guy is all about, and although Best of the Bayou Blues covers a five-year span from 1992 to 1997, the tracks all fall together in a completely coherent sequence. Opening with the Benoit original "Voodoo on the Bayou" from 1992's Nice & Warm and running through several originals and some interesting covers (including country-funk takes on Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" and Willie Nelson's "Rainy Day Blues"), this set spotlights Benoit's southern Louisiana take on contemporary blues.