Lionel Hampton's Best?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Boplicity, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    OK, jazzophiles, Lionel Hampton, the great vibraphonist from Benny Goodman's swing band and others, died last night at the age of ninety four.

    I remember his many appearances on TV when I was a kid and always admired his work. Just curious to know if any of you would care to list what you feel is his best work.
  2. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I knew him, but not enough to tell any favorites, but this one deserve a bump!
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Thanks, Ed, for answering a post that has fallen into oblivion...maybe a sad commentary on big band artists who are leaving us in great numbers now.

    Not many younger folks are conversant with the works of Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Errol Garner, Gene Krupa, or any number of very special musicians from the big band era.

    In fact, I don't even think Ken Burns spent much time on Hamp. One of the salient points of Hamp's life that is an aside to his music is that when he joined Benny Goodman, he was member of one of the first integrated bands in history. In fact, he was often mistaken for a servant or valet of the band. he also often had trouble staying in the same hotel or even eating in the same restaurant as the other members, most especially in the segregated South.

    We have come such a long way since those times. For example, P. Diddy (Puff Daddy) was in posh Palm Beach, FL this week looking to buy a mansion. Among the houses he is considering is Celine Dion's $20-million dollar palace on Jupiter Island and the Pope mansion in Manalapan, an ocean to Intracoastal enclave selling for a similar price. Don King would be neighbor.

    Hampton helped pave the way for black musicians to find acceptance and wealth in a world that once shunned them. Hurray for Lionel Hampton. Not only was he a great musician, he was a pathfinder too.
  4. elbass


    Aug 6, 2001
    San Antonio TX
    Those of us enjoy playing jazz (or anything else) on the electric bass can thank Hamp for promoting our instrument while it was still in its infancy. Quoting from Fender's page: "In the early days of the Fender bass, most of the musicians who gave Leo’s new instrument a try were converted upright bassists or guitar players. When jazz bandleader Lionel Hampton got one of the first Precision Basses in 1952, he handed it to Roy Johnson and told him to put down his doghouse. When Johnson left Hamp’s band, the P Bass was passed to Monk Montgomery, who became the first “name” player of the Fender bass."

    Thanks, Hamp, and God bless you!

    Bob Storck
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Thanks, ElBass, I didn't know that about Lionel. He was an amazing visionary, wasn't he!