Jazz Icons: Lionel Hampton spotlights a fiery hour-long concert from one of the most beloved bandleaders in jazz history. Hamp, the irrepressible king of entertainers, plays vibes, drums, piano, and sings and dances as he and his legendary big band absolutely delight this Belgian audience.
Featuring stalwart jazz soloists such as Andy McGhee, Art Hoyle, Billy Mackel, Lou Blackburn, Bobby Plater, Wilbert Hogan, and Eddie Williams, the Hampton Orchestra plays Hamp’s signature blend of jump blues, jazz, and rhythm ’n’ blues, whipping the audience into a frenzy. Hamp made it his mission to bring the joys of American music to the rest of the world and this DVD preserves an incredible example of his work for ages to come.
Liner Notes by John McDonough
Foreword by Quincy Jones
Cover photo by Red Grandy/Stars & Stripes
Booklet photos by Red Grandy, Susanne Schapowalow, Ray Avery, William "PoPsie" Randolph
Total time: 57 minutes
This is the Lionel Hampton I still remember so clearly. When he hit that stage there was only one thing that mattered and that was making sure that crowd had the time of their lives. The band on this DVD is red hot. My old friend Bobby Plater, who first introduced me to Gates in 1949, is still blowing hard. (Hamp called everybody Gates and everybody called him Gates. It was a habit he picked up from Benny Goodman and it was easier than remembering names.) Billy Mackel and Eddie Mullens are still there, as well as a whole new group of hard-honkin’ young bucks.
Hamp was the king of entertainers. He was like a circus master in the center of the ring with lions jumping through burning hoops and acrobats balancing on wild horses. This was the greatest show on earth and the Europeans loved it like nobody else on the planet. But it wasn’t just a wild show; these cats were musicians of the highest order. Hamp only hired the best. —Quincy Jones
Lionel Hampton (Vibes, Drum, Piano)
Leon Zachery & Bobby Plater (Alto Sax)
Andy McGhee (Tenor Sax)
Lonnie Shaw (Baritone Sax)
Bobby Plater (Clarinet)
Louis Blackburn, Wade Marcus and Larry Wilson (Trombone)
Eddie Williams, Art Hoyle, Eddie Mullens, Dave Gonzales (Trumpet)
Oscar Denard (Piano)
Billy Mackel (Guitar, Vocals)
Julius Browne (Bass)
Wilbert Hogan (Drums)
Cornelius “Pinocchio” James (Vocal)