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Mostly Blues


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Audio CD, 1999
$7.19
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jazz Heritage
  • ASIN: B00022GGCM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,844 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on September 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on October 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Lionel Hampton is one of the most versatile jazz performers in the history of the music: I don't think there's a style or approach out there that he hasn't done something with. This 1988 CD finds him in a very modern mood, very far from the Goodman trio/quartet sides he's perhaps best known for. LIMEHOUSE BLUES is played in front of the funkiest of rhythm patterns - the tune is almost unrecognizable. Pianist Bobby Scott and guitarist Joe Beck take excellent solos on that tune. Scott is also wonderful on BYE BYE BLUES, combining soulful chords with swift runs. Beck has the opening to the slow blues MOSTLY BLUES, which is a nice change from the Hampton domination found on most of the selections. HONEYSUCKLE ROSE might be the highlight track with all three frontline men soloing and Hamp showing off his speed marvelously. Some of the selections are a bit too long with Hamp going on chorus after chorus, but it's amazing to hear him in such a modern setting (GONE WITH THE WIND might even be considered post modern) and playing the music with such enthusiasm and élan. Bravo!
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