Recent listening, current

Saturday, January 2, 2016

209. Lionel Hampton & Stan Getz / Hamp & Getz (1955)

I suppose it's nice that by a happy accident of geography and scheduling, Hamp and Getz occupied the same place at the same time and afforded us a record. Hamp hits the sticks with a swinging ferocity that inspires Getz out of his cool cage in some unexpected chances. The pair battles through choruses and plods through a medley of ballads in a fair exposition of each's technique. It seems that Getz had to start running to keep up with the manic energy of the legendary vibraphonist. The two personalities make something of a strange cocktail, and I'd say the net result is more differentiated and less of a mutual product. The most exciting fireworks come during uptempo "Cherokee" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside." On the CD reissue, we have some extras, namely a mystery trombone player rumored to be Willie Ruff, but he doesn't really do much. The outtake of "Gladys" is a nice party favor, but, again, nothing special aside from where Hamp hits a clanger. I never like it when a reviewer describes something as "nonessential" but that's exactly what I've got here. The ingredients are enjoyable, but I'll continue taking my Hamp and Getz neat. The fine artwork on the cover is by the great David Stone Martin, reminding me that one of these days I'd like find a lithograph.

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