Lionel Hampton

Flying Home [LRC]

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One of myriad Lionel Hampton releases titled in honor of his signature performance, this particular Flying Home is a relatively obscure live effort recorded in 1969. Hamp's in full-on crowd-pleaser mode here, adapting contemporary material and rhythms to create a lively, soulful sound that dovetails nicely with his warm vibes. The band -- guitarist Billy Mackel, bassist Lawrence Burgan, pianist John Sprull, Jr., saxophonists Pete Yellin and Charles McLinden, trumpeter Wallace Davenport, and drummer Kenneth Bolds -- is loose and lively, shifting effortlessly between standards both old ("Stardust") and new ("Yesterday"). It's the kind of performance that boils the blood of jazz purists, but the groove is irresistible.

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