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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


"Hey Ba-Ba-Re-Bop"

Original 1941-1951 Recordings




  1. Nola
  2. I Know How to Do It
  3. Homeward Bound
  4. Loose Wig
  5. Chop-Chop
  6. Flyin’ Home No.2
  7. Tempo’s Boogie
  8. Blow-Top Blues
  9. Hey Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
  10. Cord-A-Re-Bop
  11. Hamp’s Salty Blues
  12. Limehouse Blues
  13. The Pencil Broke
  14. Reminiscing Mood
  15. How High the Moon
  16. Midnight Sun
  17. The Huckle-Buck
  18. Rag Mop
  19. Cool train
  20. Gates Steps Out


With the help of his business like wife Gladys ‘Hamp’ outsurvived all the other Big Band leaders keeping his band going from 1940 until shortly before his death in 2002.

His bandleading started shortly after he left the Bennie Goodman band in 1940 and continued for 62 years, but that is only one of his achievements, lets not forget that he was probably the greatest vibraphone player the world has ever seen.

Hampton had another talent, spotting young musicians and singers who would become top names in jazz. Dinah Washington, Betty Carter and Joe Williams in the vocal department and a list as long as your arm in instrumental talent, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, Ernie Royal, Joe Newman, Illinois Jaquet, Milt Buckner, Arnett Cobb, Charlie Fowlkes, Charles Mingus and Earl Bostick are all to be heard on the various tracks on this record.

If you are one of the few people in the world who don’t know about Hamp’s vibes playing, listen to track 10! The rhythm section on this track is also very good; I particularly enjoyed the guitar playing of Billy Mackel. Track 11 includes a fine Dinah Washington vocal.

The famous Midnight Sun track is worth the cost of the record on its own.

As the tracks are placed in chronological order it is easy to track the bands gradual change in style as Hamp got tuned into bebop. Hamp had moved his base away from New York to California for two reasons. He did not have to compete with the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie who were New York based and the Californian music colleges were producing a crop of superb young musicians who would work for little money to gain experience.

Lionel Hampton rarely made a bad record in any company and this record of his playing in the 1941 – 1951 is worthy of a place in any jazz collectors’ library. The diversity of the programme alone shows the amazing talents of the man.
Highly recommended

Don Mather

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