Search Manic Mark's Blog

Monday, October 25, 2021

Lionel Hampton Apollo Hall Concert 1954


Lover Man

Lionel Hampton Apollo Hall Concert 1954
Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
Photo: Aram Avakian
Epic LN 3190
A Product of CBS

From the back cover: 'Way back in 1930, the sixteen year old Lionel Hampton attracted attention for his compelling after beat while playing with Louis Armstrong. Since his initial work with Les Hite, Hampton's star has been in the ascendant, and the first great claims came with Benny Goodman turned his famous trio into an even more famous quartet by recruiting Lionel and his vibraphone (between 1930 and 1936, the Hamp made the switch in instruments, to everyone's lasting pleasure). In 1940, Hampton founded his own orchestra, and before long it was one of the most famous in the country. Such top-ranking musicians as Omer Simeon, Chu Berry and Cozy Cole were on the roster, and many others get their start working with this driving band.

"Hamp" himself, however, remains the center of interest, no matter whether he assumes the role of vibraphonist, drummer, two finger pianist, or vocalist. A truly all-round musician. A personality with unbelievable qualities as a rhythm-man, a vibraphone virtuoso of the highest calibre, whose perfect technique not only compels the admiration of both insiders and outsiders, but who also possesses incredible musical gifts. One is struck by this, among other things, the moment he starts improvising, while his style, created in the "swing" era, is timeless – a style as ageless as the hills, with a vigor that is eternal.

In addition to all this, Lionel Hampton has many other qualities. He has no equal as a showman, and he is one of the very, very few who knows that innumerable mass – that completely incalculable entity known as the public – through and through. That, incidentally, is probably the greatest secret of his success.

He toured Europe in 1953, a tour which proved to be the most sensational event of its kind in the annals of music. All pervious attendance records were smashed overnight, and no matter whether he was playing in calmer Scandinavia or in the most temperamental Southern countries , Lionel Hampton had his audiences completely in his power, from the very first to the very last note, and the very first to the very last beat. He began his second European tour on the 28th October 1954, which was even more successful than the previous occasion, when he carried everything before him. Stop for a moment to think of bassist Peter Bradie, whose supple fingers pluck the four-strings with such unerring accuracy, and drummer Wilford Eddleton – next to "Hamp" himself, one of the great driving forces in the orchestra – who, together with Bradie, forms an excellent duo. Then there is veteran "Hamptonist" William Macket on his guitar, the absolute epitome of tranquility, not only one of the greatest rhythmists, but also an inspiring soloist, whose choice of chords too, possesses a unique charm of its own. Next on the list is the versatile alto-saxophonist Robert Plater and pianist Dwike Mitchell, who can only be termed a sensation. You could go on like this, for every single one of the musicians in the orchestra possesses special qualities, many of which defy description. All the same, one always lands up, however, exactly where one started – with the heart and soul of the orchestra, that inexhaustible fountain of energy, band leader Lionel Hampton.

How High The Moon
Lover Man
Midnight Sun
Love Is Here To Stay
The Nearness Of You
Vibe Boogie
Flying Home

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!