Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Pure listening fun: feel the sparkling energy on stage. City Hall instead of the studio. One would rather record a musician like Lionel Hampton (1914-2002) in concert. “The volcano of vitality”, as German jazz guru Joachim Ernst Berendt coined the vibraphonist and drummer, was dynamite in front of an audience. This recording out of Villingen, Germany documents that audience’s enthusiasm. Wild applause and shouts of approval erupt as Hampton, a bundle of energy, works out on the vibes. The same thing on “Hamps Boogie Woogie” as he plunks out a solo on the piano with his index finger, and when he sings his hit “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop”. Instead of his orchestra, Hampton had brought along a seven-piece all-star band, but with three horns, Hammond Organ, and guitar, it’s the same riff orgy as the big band. On the opening piece Cat Anderson scales the heights with screeching stratospheric tones! For years a featured soloist in Duke Ellington’s orchestra, the high note specialist effortlessly runs a five octave range on his horn. Pianist/organist Milt Buckner plays a cooking Hammond Organ on the album. Villingen was the innovative jazz musician’s last live performance. The 62 year old Buckner died unexpectedly two months after the concert. As a result, he was featured on the album title and in the 1977 liner notes.
Liner Note Author: Hans Hielscher.
Recording information: Villingen (05/07/1977).
Photographer: Hans Harzheim.
Translator: Martin Cook.