. . “Great Encounters” are book excerpts that chronicle famous encounters among twentieth-century cultural icons. In this edition, Will Friedwald, author of Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole, writes about the 1940 Lionel Hampton/King Cole Trio RCA Victor recording sessions. . . Excerpted from STRAIGHTEN UP AND … Continue reading “Great Encounters: When Lionel Hampton recorded with the King Cole Trio”...
September 14th, 2020
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” connect time, place, and subject in a way that ultimately allows the viewer a unique way of experiencing jazz history. This edition’s narratives are “The Entrance of Bessie Smith into San Diego”, “Lionel Hampton Is Coming to Dinner at Dr. Gordon’s House”, and
“Lionel Hampton: Central Avenue Breakdown”
June 15th, 2020
This trumpeter played in the bands of Lionel Hampton and Andy Kirk, and was a prominent figure in the transition from swing to bop, even described as the “missing link” between Roy Eldridge and Fats Navarro. Who is he?
September 22nd, 2014
“I think there are only three things that America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They’re the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced.”
—Gerald Early, cultural critic
Spring is upon us, and so is the start of the baseball season. As Gerald Early points out, there are great connections between jazz and baseball, prominent of which is the role that desegregation of each institution played in creating the political climate essential to the civil rights movement.
There are interesting similarities among two of the leading African American figures of the era who helped integrate their professions, not the least of which was the quality of their character. To Branch Rickey, after thoroughly investigating the college-educated Jackie Robinson, he felt...
March 28th, 2014
Excerpted from Queen : The Life and Music of Dinah Washington by Nadine Cohodas
As Ruth was settling into the Garrick, Lionel Hampton and his sixteen-piece band were getting ready for a weeklong stay at the Regal that would include a gala Christmas and New Year’s performance with Billie Holiday. It was a heady time for a group that was barely two years old and was riding a wave of ecstatic reviews and sold-out houses. The band had recently made its first recording for Decca.
“Hamp,” as he was universally known, was a consummate showman, a fireplug of energy who inspired his bandmates and thrilled his audiences....
October 29th, 2004
Nadine Cohodas’s Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington, is the landmark biography of the brief, intensely lived life and soulful music of the great Dinah Washington. A gospel star at fifteen, she was discovered by jazz great Lionel Hampton at eighteen, and for the rest of her life was on the road, playing clubs, or singing in the studio — making music one way or another. Dinah’s tart and heartfelt voice quickly became her trademark; she was a distinctive stylist, crossing over from the “race” music category to the pop and jazz charts....
September 13th, 2004