This 1977 session, which combines Lionel Hampton and Gerry Mulligan with a strong rhythm section (Hank Jones, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Duvivier, Grady Tate and Candido Camero) seems to be Mulligan's date. But Hampton ends up the de facto leader, due to the heavy rhythmic (as opposed to melodic) emphasis of the arrangements, even though six of the nine songs recorded at the session were composed by the baritone saxophonist. Mulligan's solos are still the centerpiece of each track, even with the formidable presence of Hampton's swinging vibes. It is also a valuable recording since it is an opportunity to hear older Mulligan compositions, such as "Blight of the Fumble Bee,"" "Line for Lyons" and "Walking Shoes" in different settings. Also notable is the debut of a new piece by Mulligan, "Song for Johnny Hodges." Initially released by Who's Who in Jazz, it has reappeared under a number of different titles on labels such as Cleo, Kingdom Gate, Toledo, Baystate, and Jazz Hour, to name just a few.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden