Lionel Hampton And His Golden Men Of Jazz in Munich

Munich Summer Piano Festival 1993

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Lionel Hampton — Bandleader, vibraphonist

Clark Terry — Trumpeter

Harry "Sweets" Edison — Trumpeter

Al Grey — Trombonist

Benny Golson — Saxophonist

Junior Mance — Pianist

Jimmy Woode — Double bassist

Panama Francis — Drummer

Program notes

Lionel Hampton was one of the godfather's of jazz and an early pioneer of the vibraphone. His background as a drummer gave him extraordinary dexterity with sticks, which he soon swapped for vibraphone mallets after seeing Louis Armstrong's effect on audiences as a soloist. Indeed, it was Louis who first gave Hampton the stamp of approval on the instrument when he asked him to play backing to his vocals. By the early 1940s Hampton had formed a solid collaboration with Benny Goodman and made his first steps into the world of big-band leadership, where he cemented a remarkable legacy in jazz history. 

Hampton's bands helped to popularise jazz and also formed an incubator for young talent, cultivating the minds of Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus, Quincy Jones, Clifford Brown and even the great bebop trailblazer Dizzy Gillespie. By the time of this concert in 1993, Hampton's style had long-since fallen from the mainstream, yet he still carried all the positivity and bluster that made him a famed frontman, despite having suffered a debilitating stroke only two years before. He performed few concerts in this period, up until his death in 2002, and so this show at the Munich Summer Piano Festival represents something of a final hurrah for a true veteran. The repertoire is sublime, including classics like "How High The Moon" and "I Remember Clifford," as well as original pieces and nods to other great musicians of the Twentieth Century: Billie Holiday, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, Benny Golson and, of course, his old friend Benny Goodman. 

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