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Dwight M. (Dewey) from RUTLAND, MA
Reviewed on 1/28/2007...
Picture on front is different - but same track listings. Played it once.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lionel and Bobby Define "Deep Groove"
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No doubt this unnoticed, out-of-print session is languishing in scattered CD cut-out bins. But if you find a copy, grab it up--in fact, better make it several. Along with Hamp's fabled "Stardust" Concert (1947) this late Hampton entry deserves a place in anybody's record collection. "Mostly Blues" is a moody, mesmerizing session that hits an uncharacteristic groove for Lionel--more modern than swing era, more simmering than sizzling, more seductive than showy. Hampton goes for a Milt Jackson slow-vibrato sound and lets up on the technique and showmanship. Deserving an equal amount of credit is pianist Bobby Scott, heard here for one of the last times before cancer led to his premature death. He's an exceptional, hard-swinging, "blowing" piano player, and he makes the most of each of his turns, contributing solos that are gritty, incisive, always high-spirited--a perfect complement to the more deliberate and delayed attack of the vibes. And as for his comping, the man's a veritable funk machine, a combination of Horace Silver's chord voicings and Bernard Purdie's infectious beat.
Tracks 4 and 5 are pure "riffin' and groovin'" on E-flat blues. No solos to speak of--just Lionel and Bobby dancing around and with each other, steppin', struttin', and gliding on the smooth floor wax laid down by Bob Cranshaw and Grady Tate. As for the "real" tunes--"Someday My Prince Will Come," "A Train," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Bye Bye Blues," "Limehouse Blues" (neither of the latter technically a blues)--these guys are so steeped in the elemental 12-bar form that even the "standards" sound like basic blues.
Finally, reserve some praise for the recording engineer on this date. Maybe I've simply been listening to too many Rudy Van Gelder recordings lately, but "Mostly Blues" strikes me as exemplary for its acoustic depth and spaciousness. You are literally in the same room with the musicians, positioned close to the vibes and conscious of the location of each player. Even the sound of the bass (both acoustic and electric) is balanced and natural.
This may not be the kind of music that immediately arrests your attention (it's likely to get to your feet before your head), but after playing the CD many times, I can testify that it's simply incapable of wearing out its welcome."
Late career Hampton---Great career, Lionel, rest in peace...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What is it about vibes that let Hampton and Milt Jackson sound so good when their bodies were so old? These tracks were laid down when the man was in his eighties, but you'll never hear "old" within the tunes, even though most of the songs he chose were classics from his youth. This is a production by the Jazz Heritage Society, and it's a keeper. Three blues numbers and six standards, with piano, guitar, drums and bass backing up Lionel. The whole 60 minutes here creates a lovely experience, as Doug Negley says in his earlier review below. I like it even better than he does, but I confess I have only heard a couple of other CD's with Hampton as leader. This is by far the best of those to which I have been exposed. If you are in the market for a disc representing the mature work of this jazz pioneer, this is a good pick."