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Lionel Hampton and the Golden Men of Jazz Live at the Blue Note

You may be tempted to fling Live at the Blue Note by vibes player Lionel Hampton out the window during the circus-barker introductions that mar the long opening tune. But that would be a mistake. The Golden Men are a once-in- a-blue-moon congregation of swing-era giants and they were in full throttle for this gig at New York’s Blue Note last June. Harry Edison offers perhaps his finest recorded trumpet solo of recent years on ”I Wish I Knew,” and saxophonist-flutist James Moody, who plays a memorably knotty chorus on ”Ow!,” has never waxed or lasered a funnier version of his signature tune, ”Moody’s Mood for Love.” The steamy Texas tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate and the very whimsical brassmen Al Grey and Clark Terry are happily fired by Hamp’s imperturbable swing, and by what, given Hampton’s instrument, we have to call the historical vibes arising from the occasion. B+

Lionel Hampton and the Golden Men of Jazz Live at the Blue Note
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