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Lionel Hampton & His Band/Lionel Hampton: Live at the Muzeval

Album Notes

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. The leader opens "Ol' Man River" with a delicate solo, with the rhythm section joining him and the tempo exploding once the full band is added. "Greasy Greens" is a funky Hampton original which is of less interest. One interesting choice is the brief but smoldering take of John Coltrane's "Mr. P.C.," featuring Hampton. The last two selections were contributed by the band's tenor saxophonist Paul Jeffrey. "Hamp's Got the Blues" is a lengthy workout that gives the vibraphonist a chance to introduce the band one by one. Though it falls short of being an essential release, fans of Lionel Hampton will enjoy this CD. ~ Ken Dryden


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