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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Jazz > Lionel Hampton & The Golden Men Of Jazz (Concert)

Lionel Hampton & The Golden Men Of Jazz (Concert)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Concert: B



More Lionel Hampton material is being issued on DVD.  First, we got to see earlier years of “The King Of the Vibraphone” in Koch’s Swinging At His Best, but Geneon has a concert that is a non-stop 99 minutes with the release of Lionel Hampton & The Golden Men Of Jazz.  This was taped during his 1993 European tour and shows a master still in great form after decades of being essentially a living legend.  As joined by Clark Terry (Flugelhorn, Trumpet), Harry “Sweets” Edison (Trumpet), Al Grey (Trombone), Benny Golson (Saxophone), Junior Mance (Piano), Jimmy Woode (Bass) and Panama Francis (Drums), they deliver very energetic and terrific performances of the following:


1)     Hamp

2)     Cool Vibes

3)     Lester Leaps In

4)     God Bless The Child

5)     Turn Me Loose

6)     Paradise

7)     How High The Moon

8)     I Remember Clifford

9)     Drum On In

10)  Lover

11)  Seven Come Eleven

12)  Hey Baba Rebob

13)  What A Wonderful World



They also have a great audience and all the musicians get showcases to show just how exceptionally talented they are; all one would want from any concert disc.  What was most impressive as far as “Hamp” was concerned was just how naturally he plays with such grace and ease so many decades later.  This disc is a true pleasure and a great way to start of music DVDs for 2005.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image was shot on analog videotape, likely NTSC, because it matches up too well with our monitors.  It is clean and Dieter Hens’ directing captures this as a large concert without doing endless close shots that have become a cliché of such tapings.  The stereo sound is presented here in PCM 16Bit/48kHz 2.0 Stereo and a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, with the former exhibiting less compression.  Yet, the Dolby has a bit more detail in parts of the frequency range and was slightly preferable.  The problem is that this was not recorded with multi-channel stereo playback in mind, so it may ultimately be about what the listener prefers.  That leaves limits on playback, but the music is so good, you will still keep watching.  Extras are few and all text, but include liner notes, profiles on the band members and a write-up on Hamp himself.  All in all, Geneon has out together the best possible near-basic DVD of this concert and it is one fans will love.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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