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Album Review

Throughout his long career, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton has recorded many informal small-group jams. This particular one (last available on LP) matches Hamp with the great but underrated violinist Svend Asmussen, bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Ed Thigpen. The repertoire is not too adventurous ("Flying Home," "Midnight Sun" and four other standards) but somehow Hampton always plays this well-worn material as if he had just discovered its magic. The results are quite lively and enjoyable with the blend of vibes and violin being memorable.

Biography

Born: 20 April 1909 in Louisville, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Lionel Hampton was the first jazz vibraphonist and was one of the jazz giants beginning in the mid-'30s. He has achieved the difficult feat of being musically open-minded (even recording "Giant Steps") without changing his basic swing style. Hamp started out as a drummer, playing with the Chicago Defender Newsboys' Band as a youth. His original idol was Jimmy Bertrand, a '20s drummer who occasionally played xylophone. Hampton played on the West Coast with such groups as Curtis Mosby's Blue Blowers,...
Full bio