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The concept of Who’s Who in Jazz was as natural and inviting as a clear, invigorating spring day. Why not assemble an array of great jazz figures in relaxed settings and let them groove? Not only would the resultant music greatly enrich our permanent record of jazz but the sessions would also enable the rising number of jazz listeners in the 70s to really focus on a sizable number of the most influential and durable improvisers in the music.

The idea was Lionel Hampton’s, and who else would be the most logical implementer of the idea? Hampton, after all, has already shown the way in a historic series of small combo recordings in a six-volume Bluebird set, which are among the lasting legacies of the swing era. These all-star dates – with participants ranging from Coleman Hawkins and Johnny Hodges to Dizzy Gillespie – have lost none of their zest and freshness through the years because Hampton knew whom to select and also knew how to create an easeful mood that let everyone stretch out to a much larger extent than had been possible for these musicians at other recording sessions.

Browse the featured Who’s Who in Jazz CDs below or check out all of the WWJ titles available at a discount by clicking the ‘List All Who’s Who’ button above.

Artist: Various Artists
Title: As Blue As They Can Be
Label: Who’s Who in Jazz
Living up to their label name, Who’s Who in Jazz put together this superb collection which features Jimmy Witherspoon, Richard “Groove” Holmes and Odetta. Songs include: ‘Groove’s Groove,’ ‘California Blues,’ ‘Wonderful World,’ ‘Misty,’ ‘Walking on a Tightrope,’ ‘Slow Blues in G,’ ‘Song For My Father’ and more.

Artist: Buddy Rich
Title: Lionel Hampton Presents Buddy Rich
Label: Who’s Who in Jazz
This disc features the legendary drummer and an amazing band on best-loved Jazz standards: “Moment’s Notice,” “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “My Funny Valentine” to name a few.
Barry Kiener: piano, Tom Warrington: bass, Candido Camero: conga drums, Lionel Hampton: vibes, Steve Marcus: tenor sax, Gary Pribek: tenor sax, Paul Moen: tenor sax and Buddy Rich: drums.
Artist: Dexter Gordon
Title: Lionel Hampton with Dexter Gordon
Label: Who’s Who in Jazz
The top tenor saxophonist to emerge during the bop era and possessor of his own distinctive sound, Gordon sometimes was long-winded and quoted excessively from other songs, but he created a large body of superior work and could battle nearly anyone successfully at a jam session. This is a great disc, especially at this price! Click image for song listing.

Artist: Chick Corea
Title: Lionel Hampton with Chick Corea
Label: Who’s Who in Jazz
Catch the legendary jazz musicians in a live concert at the world famous Midem festival in Cannes, France. From the moment Chick joined Lionel on the stage of the Theater du Casino, the magic of these two great players came alive. The 1980 concert itself has become legendary.

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