Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton in Vienna, Vol. 1

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This obscure Austrian CD documents a portion of a November, 1954 concert by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra in Vienna, with the source coming from an off-the-air recording by a young engineer. Like the earlier big band with which Hampton toured Europe the year before, the bop influence is very strong in many of the arrangements, but this edition doesn't have nearly the star power of the earlier unit (with Art Farmer, Clifford Brown, Gigi Gryce, and Jimmy Cleveland), though Nat Adderley is in the trumpet section. Pianist Dwike Mitchell (misidentified as Dwight Mitchell) is featured in the a small group arrangement of "Body and Soul," though few of the other soloists are identified. Hampton himself is heard shouting encouragement but takes his time joining in on vibes, finally making an appearance halfway through the CD on a waltzing "How High the Moon." There are dropouts and other sound problems in the tape, but the strong performances and the paucity of recordings of Hampton's big bands from this period in his career make this CD worth acquiring.

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