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Jazz in Paris: Lionel Hampton and His French New Sound, Vol. 2

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Album Review

Lionel Hampton is joined by a number of top French jazz musicians plus Nat Adderley and American expatriate Benny Bailey for this 1955 studio session, playing Christian Chevalier's charts. "All the Things You Are" features the vibraphonist with the rhythm section, with strong solo efforts by guitarist Sacha Distel and pianist René Urtreger, along with the leader. The low-key, lengthy treatment of "I Cover the Waterfront" almost suggests a Jazz at the Philharmonic session, showcasing nice features for trumpeter Bernard Hullin, tenor saxophonist Maurice Meunier, Urtreger, and Hampton. Things finally seem to loosen up with Hampton's swinging riff tune "Red Ribbon," with the solid rhythm and powerful brass and reeds igniting the vibraphonist, who trades solos with several players, including French horn player Dave Amram. "Night and Day," like "I Cover the Waterfront," is stretched out considerably, but benefits from a brisker setting. A long overlooked recording, this laudable date was finally reissued by Universal in 2000 as a part of its very affordable Jazz in Paris series.


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,...
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Jazz in Paris: Lionel Hampton and His French New Sound, Vol. 2, Lionel Hampton
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