Lionel Hampton

Mai 1956

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During one of his many tours of Europe, Lionel Hampton assembled a group of all-stars for this 1956 studio session, adding a number of top European players to his regular group. The vibraphonist has the lion's share of solos, dominating the 11-plus-minute interpretation of "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" and showing off a bit with his unique style of playing piano on several selections, including a romp through "Regina's Drag" (which is the same as "12th Street Rag"). "New Saint-Louis Blues" is just an updated version of W.C. Handy's signature tune, with a vocal by Hampton and sassy muted trumpet by Ed Mullens. This date might have been a bit more memorable with more solo features for the vibraphonist's sidemen, but it is hard to overpower one of the greatest jazz showmen of all time.

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