Personnel: Marian McPartland (piano); Marian McPartland; Lionel Hampton (vocals, piano, vibraphone).
Liner Note Authors: Marian McPartland; Ira Gitler.
Recording information: 01/11/1989.
Photographers: John Abbott ; Barbara Bordnick; R.J. Capak.
This excellent series documents the National Public Radio broadcasts of its program titled Piano Jazz. The show features the great Marian McPartland dueting with such stellar pianists as Chick Corea, Jason Moran, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, and the great Lionel Hampton, among others. This particular offering displays the warmth and talent of McPartland with Lionel Hampton. They duet on such songs as "Teach Me Tonight," Hampton's classic "Flying Home," and "Sweet Georgia Brown." Those interested in Hampton's career are sure to enjoy the conversations between him and McPartland. He speaks candidly with Marion about his musical career and offers many entertaining stories about the making of many of his trademark songs. One of the top moments on the recording is their duet on "Midnight Sun," which many of his fans don't realize that he co-wrote with J. Francis Burke and Johnny Mercer. If you were not aware of Hampton's piano skills or had never heard Hamp sing, then take a loving listen to his rendition of "Mack the Knife," as he duets on piano and sings with McPartland. They also discuss his humanitarianism and participation in the restoration of blighted neighborhoods and the building of the Lionel Hampton House and the Gladys Hampton House in New York. The set closes with his most famous tune, "Flying Home," which he co-wrote with Benny Goodman during his time in Goodman's Big Band. This is an excellent educational series for teachers and students interested in the history of jazz piano and a remarkable duet series for collectors of that format. It also contains the original liner notes from the 1996 release. ~ Paula Edelstein
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