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Lionel Hampton

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On the Sunny Side of the Street Lionel Hampton 03:15
Tea for Two Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Roy Eldridge 03:42
Hot Mallets Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra 02:14
Buzzin around with the bee Lionel Hampton 03:06
Flying Home Lionel Hampton 02:59
Vibraphone Blues Benny Goodman Quartet, Lionel Hampton 03:23
Misty Lionel Hampton 06:36
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) Lionel Hampton, Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra 03:14
Hamp swings the bells (ring dem bells) Lionel Hampton 03:51
Shades Of Jade Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra 03:23

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Jumpin At The Woodside

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Lionel Hampton's first interest in music came with the xylophone which he learned from Jimmy Bertrand as a teenager. He changed his allegiances to the drums and played for the Chicago Defender Newsboys' Band. Relocating to California in 1927, Hampton found a spot playing drums for the Dixieland Blues-Blowers. This step opened many doors for Hampton and he began receiving offers to play with the likes of Paul Howard and Les Hite. Feeling the need to spread his wings he started to learn the vibraphone and when he received a personal request to play on two of Louis Armstrong's new songs, he ditched the drums for good to focus on his new-found love, the vibraphone.

After playing for a while in the Benny Goodman Quartet (with Goodman, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa), Hampton made the decision to start his own band, and so was born the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. During the 1940s and '50s the Lionel Hampton Orchestra became one of the most popular and successful jazz bands, with their most well-known song 'Flying Home' in 1942 being credited with influencing the age of the rhythm and blues.

As well as notching up hit records, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra was also the place where many great musicians found their feet. Through Hampton's tutelage, the likes of Wes Montgomery, Charles Mingus, Johnny Griffin, Dinah Washington and even Dizzy Gillespie all became renowned musicians in their own right. Into the 1960s when pop began to take over the airwaves, the Orchestra struggled to compete with record sales and found themselves reduced to playing the odd local jazz festival.

In 1991 Hampton suffered a stroke whilst performing in Paris and his health gradually declined until heart failure finally took him in 2002.