Om Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton is one of the true giants of American music. He was an innovator on the vibes, coming to prominence in the 1930s in Benny Goodman's band before forming his own orchestra and scoring a massive hit in 1942 with "Flying Home." Like Louis Armstrong, he was a wonderful entertainer as well as a musician, and this has kept him in the public's hearts long after most jazz artists revert to cult status. Even though he had Swing in his blood, the hard-driving Hampton worked well with Bop and Cool artists, and he had a hand in forging R&B. His good humor pours out of his playing and his exuberant vocal style.