Personnel: Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Oscar Peterson (piano); Buddy DeFranco (clarinet); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Buddy Rich (drums).
Producer: Norman Granz.
Compilation producers: Michael Lang, Ben Young.
Recorded in New York, New York in 1953-54. Includes liner notes by Brian Priestly and Francis Davis.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Herb Ellis (guitar); Buddy DeFranco (clarinet); Oscar Peterson (piano); Buddy Rich (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Francis Davis; Brian Priestley.
Recording information: Fine Sound, New York, NY (09/02/1953-09/??/1953).
Editor: Peter Keepnews.
Photographer: Herman Leonard.
This generous five-disc collection is a document of a time when jazz giants walked the earth. In addition to the titanic principals, vibraphone innovator Lionel Hampton and piano icon Oscar Peterson, this multitude of sessions the pair recorded for the Verve label in the 1950s also features Buddy Rich, Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, and Buddy DeFranco--a stunning display of talent.
Hampton had already been a major player since the '30s, but his style proved flexible enough to remain vital through the decades, and these tracks find him alternately flexing hyperspeed bebop chops ("Air Mail Special") and unfurling the lyrical melodicism he developed during the swing era ("These Foolish Things"). Hampton's interactions with Peterson's thoughtful, harmonically sophisticated piano work, not to mention the unerringly swinging rhythm section and the saber-toothed clarinet injections of DeFranco, is a wonder to behold, especially when presented in such a comprehensive package.