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Lionel Hampton: There Will Never Be Another You

Jim Santella By

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Recorded in 1989 and featuring vocalist Sylvia Bennett, this studio performance captures Lionel Hampton in action with a big band, tearin' up those swingin' vibes. Hampton's 1989 band arrangements are outstanding. They pull everyone together, lifting each section up to its assigned role in support of the vibraphonist's featured spot. He carries each selection with vigor. Reeds and brass pack plenty of power, while the rhythm section swings. The use of electric bass and congas lend a contemporary charm to the band's sound, which merges well with the leader's animated performance.

Both the CD and the DVD in this package are being released this year for the first time. As its title suggests, this homage to a jazz legend demonstrates how unique he was. Hampton brought us great jazz for over sixty years. He also provided a learning ground for countless jazz stars and mentored many up-and-coming artists.

Sylvia Bennett, who sings six selections on this CD program and provides commentary on the companion DVD, fits the characteristics of the Hampton band well. The swing and bounce in her voice carries a complementary charm. Several of her selections are pop-oriented, bringing a decidedly different approach to the Hampton organization. She's even integrated Hampton's spoken comments as sound bites on a remix of "You Make My Heart Sing, which brings out the goosebumps.

The DVD portion of the album provides samples from each of the songs, as well as commentary from Sylvia Bennett and producer Hal Batt. Hampton is seen performing and speaking as the scenes shift from concert venues to the Miami studio, Hampton's New York apartment, and even Reagan's inaugural, with footage of Hampton, Bennett and several of the nation's VIPs. Representing a half-hour video tribute to Lionel Hampton, the DVD portion of There Will Never Be Another You complements this welcome big band album.

Track Listing: Just One of Those Things; There Will Never Be Another You; Cookin

Personnel: Lionel Hampton: leader, vibraphone, synthesizer; Mike Lewis: conductor; Sylvia Bennett: vocals; Jim Hacker, Brett Murphy, Tony Luschen, John Georgini: trumpet; Neil Bonsanti, Billy Ross, Chip McNeill, Jeff King, Whit Sidner: reeds; Phil Gray, Tom Garling, Dana Teboe, Greg Cox: trombone; Hal Batt: keyboards, guitar, bass; Bobby Pancoast: keyboards; Dave Hardman (1-10,13), Gotz Kujack (11,12): drums; Sammy Figueroa: percussion.

Title: There Will Never Be Another You | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Out of Sight Music

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