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.
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.
Vibist Lionel Hampton's rhythmic abilities haven't been dulled by age, and he displayed his proficiency on this date, which includes the enjoyable bonus track "Moon Over My Annie." There was no wasted energy or unnecessary or exaggerated solos; just bluesy, assertive, muscular arrangements, accompaniment, and ensemble segments. Highlights included "Vibraphone Blues," "Trick or Treat" and "Swingle Jingle," in which Hampton shifted from vibes to piano.
How many living female singers can say that they sang with the Lionel Hampton Big Band? Sylvia Bennett auditioned for Hampton in the early 1980s and was immediately signed as the band's singer. She then toured Florida and performed with the Hampton Orchestra at the second Reagan inaugural as well as the same event for George Bush. Hampton recorded Sentimental Journey in 1985 with Bennett as vocalist, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1987. A second album, There Will Never Be Another You, was recorded two years later. It was never released and continued to languish in the vaults until Sylvia Bennett decided to bring it to the music industry's attention…
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.
Garnished with a fistful of alternate takes, the 2007 release of Mosaic's 107-track Complete Lionel Hampton Victor Sessions 1937-1941 is a welcome and long overdue CD realization of The Complete Lionel Hampton 1937-1941, a six-LP box set released during the 1970s by the Bluebird label. Only Teddy Wilson came close to achieving what Hamp did in the late 1930s and early '40s, by bringing together the greatest soloists on the scene for a staggeringly productive and inspired series of recordings that essentially defined the state of jazz during the years immediately preceding the Second World War.
Lionel Hampton is one of the most extraordinary musicians of the 20th century and his artistic achievements symbolize the impact that jazz music has had on our culture in the 21st century.
As a composer and arranger, Hampton wrote more than 200 works, including the jazz standards "Flying Home", "Evil Gal Blues", and "Midnight Sun". He also composed the major symphonic work, "King David Suite".
His lifetime of "swinging" is well documented through hundreds of recordings, many of which rank among the best in jazz, and all of which will be housed and studied inside the Lionel Hampton Center in Moscow, Idaho, slated to open in 2006.