- Hamptonís Stomp
- On the Sunny Side of the Street
- China Stomp
- Iím Confessiní
- Piano Stomp
- After Youíve Gone
- Ring Dem Bells
- Donít Be That Way
- Shoe Shinerís Drag
- Memories of You
- When Lights are Low
- Iíve Found a New Baby
- Shades of Jade
- Jack the Bellboy
- Flying Home
These tracks have Hamp playing with various groups
from the period 1937 to 1940.
In the sleeve note it says that Lionel Hampton is
the king of the vibes, lyrical, percussive authoritative, the Boss.
To me he was even more that that nobody ever managed to swing or create
such excitement as Hamp, I saw him at a JATP concert in the 1920ís
and the atmosphere was electric from the minute he appeared on stage.
Considering that the latest of these tracks is 62
old, the music is remarkably pleasant. When you cast your eye over
the sidemen involved it is hardly surprising! It is probably because
everyone, at the time, would sooner be playing in his bands than in
the band opposite. Just a few of the names, Jess Stacey, Buster Bailey,
Johnny Hodges, Jonah Jones Ziggy Elman, Cootie Williams
Harry James, Benny Carter, Harry Carney, Coleman
Hawkins and Ben Webster are all here and so are Mezz Mezzrow and Vido
Musso on Clarinet!
After Youíve Gone starts slowly and then Ziggy Elman
leads it into double tempo, Ring Dem Bells turns out to be a Duke
Ellington tune, complete with Hamp vocal and a classic Cootie Williams
chorus before Hamp takes it out against a band riff.
Donít Be That Way predates the Goodman version and
is played at a slower tempo, much more suited to this particular tune.
Shoe Shinerís Drag is an old tune composed by Jelly Roll Morton, there
are solos from Harry James, Herchel Evans and an unknown Clarinet
player. Memories of You has a melody statement from Lawrence Brown
on Trombone, the middle eight being played by Rex Stewart, there is
also an excellent chorus from Hamp on this one.
When Lights are Low brings a change of company Dizzy
Gillespie is on trumpet for this one and Chu Berry, Coleman Hawkins
and Ben Webster on Tenor, although only Berry solos. Iíve Found a
New Baby has some slick piano from Clyde Hart who certainly lacked
nothing in technique, but is that Hamp on piano? Jack the Bellboy
has Hamp in great form working with the Nat ĎKingí Cole Trio, very
tasty as you would expect and something I have not heard before. Finally
Flying Home, a Lionel Hampton classic, which was always part of his
concert programme, although often taken at a much faster tempo than
This is good vintage Hamp who died in 2000 after
a career unparalleled in jazz history, the music he plays here still
sounds good today. Congratulations to Bluebird on an interesting selection.