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.
This is Ann Hampton Callaway's seventh recording, Easy Living, is one of her very best. It's a program of well-known standards and fairly stock arrangements, but in the middle is her pristine, well-defined, flexible voice. She retains a lower-end range in her style that suggests only one singer: Sarah Vaughan. She's joined by several different rhythm sections and soloists, including pianists Benny Green (six cuts), Bill Charlap (five), and Kenny Barron (two); bassists Peter Washington or Neal Miner; drummers Clarence "Tootsie" Bean and Lewis Nash; percussionist Jim Saporito; saxophonists Andy Farber, Nelson Rangell, and Gerry Niewood; and on three selections, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. A firey stormer from the great Slide Hampton! The album's one of his few early sides for Atlantic – and like the others, it's a groundbreaking batch of larger group material, with slide out front on trombone, and the rest of the ensemble vamping along like a tight Blue Note combo. Players are excellent – and include George Coleman on tenor, Horace Parlan on piano, Hobart Dotson on trumpet, and Ray Barretto on drums – and Slide makes them come together so tightly, you'd think they were working together every night of the week! Titles include "The Barbarians", "Strollin", "The Jazz Twist", "Red Top", "Slide Slid", and "Day In Day Out".
Trombonist Slide Hampton's writing ability has long overshadowed his skills as a player. This CD reissue sets the record straight by putting the focus on Hampton's boppish and consistently creative trombone. The first three selections (a couple of originals and J.J. Johnson's "Lament") showcase Hampton really stretching out with a quartet also including pianist Martial Solal, bassist Henri Texler and drummer Daniel Humair.