Putting aside the probability that in the fullness of time every musician, from Palestrina to Perry Como, will be looked upon as a precursor of rock and roll, in the instance of Lionel Hampton the claim has much validity—indeed, it's surprising to discover that he isn't yet acknowledged in most reference works on the subject. Along with Lucky Millinder he practically invented orchestrated rhythm and blues. Both men arrived at Decca two years after the label signed Louis Jordan, and restructured swing to accommodate voluble rhythms, raucous blues, and shameless showmanship. Millinder, however, had nothing like Hampton's breadth or appeal. Nor did he have "Flying Home": The moment Illinois Jacquet began a tenor saxophone solo with an extended quote... More >>>