In the period covered by this disc, Lionel Hampton led the last of his swing-era all-star sessions, left Benny Goodman's orchestra, and formed his own exciting big band. "Flying Home" was still in the near future, but there are a fair number of exciting selections on this transitional disc. Hampton's vibes are heard featured with the Nat King Cole Trio on four numbers (two of which also have the Hampton River Boys taking vocals) and the vibraphonist also jams with the 1941 version of the Spirits of Rhythm. After leaving Goodman, Hampton at first led a few small-group dates that included musicians drawn from his orchestra, including altoist/clarinetist Marshall Royal, pianist Sir Charles Thompson, and trumpeter Karl George. The big band's first, mostly uneventful session concludes this interesting disc.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow