Personnel: Lionel Hampton (piano, vibraphone); Billy Mackel (guitar); Gigi Gryce (saxophone); Quincy Jones (trumpet, piano); Clifford Brown , Art Farmer (trumpet); Benny Powell (trombone); Monk Montgomery (upright bass); Alan Dawson (drums).
Vibraphonist Lionel Hampton came to Europe in 1953 with a cast of future bandleaders and star soloists, including trumpeters Art Farmer, Clifford Brown, and Quincy Jones (who doubles on piano, as Dodo Marmarosa failed to make the trip); trombonists Jimmy Cleveland and Buster Cooper; alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce; and drummer Alan Dawson. This 1953 concert is the first of two CDs issued by TCB decades after it was recorded for broadcast by Swiss Radio. Unfortunately, the liner notes don't identify any of the soloists, though Hampton takes the lion's share of the spotlight in this extroverted set, including favorites from his days with Benny Goodman ("How High the Moon," "Honeysuckle Rose," and "Summertime") and the inevitable crowd-pleaser "Flying Home." This volume documents one of Hampton's most promising big bands of the latter part of his career, one that wasn't well documented on record. ~ Ken Dryden