Lionel Hampton

Jazz Biography

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When one offers up a Lionel Hampton biography, you would think it would include his early history as a swing and big-band jazz musician. About two-thirds of the contemporary recorded material here includes standards and important aspects of his contributions to early period music. Nobody even remotely thinks of his band interpreting soft rock tunes. Unfortunately, that's the other third of the fare offered, including "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Light My Fire," "You've Got a Friend," a tame take on the Buddy Miles rocker "Them Changes," an over the top gospel-blues take of "Close to You," and a quite painfully sung "Ain't No Sunshine." Many other collections feature far better music from across Hampton's eight decades of legitimate achievements in real jazz.

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