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.
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.