The Masters of Jazz reissue label specializes in the chronological presentation of recordings made during the first half of the 20th century by musicians who appear both as leaders and as members of bands led by other artists. 1937, Vol. 3 is a particularly fine collection of classic swing sides featuring irrepressible multi-instrumentalist Lionel Hampton. The first 12 tracks document Hamp's collaborative adventures with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and Gene Krupa. Tracks 13 through 23 are taken straight from the Lionel Hampton discography, and include a previously unheard second take of "The Object of My Affection." 1937 was an exceptionally good year for Lionel Hampton; the opportunity to begin making records as a leader for the Victor label arose directly from his work as a member of the Benny Goodman Quartet, beginning in August 1936. The unfettered joy that is evident throughout most of the Quartet performances conveys what it must have felt like to actively assist Goodman in the systematic dismantling of the racially segregated "color bar" policies that were still in place throughout most of the U.S. entertainment industry at that time. The two Hampton-led groups heard on this album offer support for his fabulous displays of virtuosity as pianist, as drummer, as vibraphonist, and as a very personable vocalist. Front liners include trumpeters Jonah Jones and Ziggy Elman; reedmen Eddie Barefield, Vido Musso, and Adrian Rollini's little brother Arthur Rollini. Listen also for pianists Jess Stacy and Clyde Hart, and drummer Cozy Cole, who handles both bands nicely except when unseated by Hamp for the wild version of "Crazy Rhythm," rechristened as the "Drum Stomp."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf