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.
In 1954, producer Norman Granz held a couple of marathon recording sessions featuring vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Buddy Rich, and (on April 13) clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. This set has three selections from the DeFranco date (a 17-plus-minute "Flying Home," the original "Je Ne Sais Pas," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street") and one from the earlier session ("April in Paris"). Hampton is typically exuberant throughout (grunting rather loudly during a few later ensemble choruses on "Flying Home"), DeFranco and Peterson are as swinging as usual, and the overall music is quite joyous.