[Dixielandjazz] Hamp

drjz drjz@bealenet.com
Mon, 09 Sep 2002 15:01:16 -0400

The New York Times, Lionel Hampton  "New-Orleans-Style Send-Off" column
by Alan Feuer is a poor attempt at jazz journalism. To compare Cyrus
Chestnut (b. 1963) to Clark Terry (b. 1920) and Hank Jones (b. 1918) as
an "old-time great" is nonsense. And to tell how Hamp serenaded the
elder Bush's CIA is a waste of  the little space allotted to jazz in
today' press.
Feuer did at least mention Illinois Jacquet, but he was a lot more than
a "saxophonist who used to play in Mr. Hampton's band". He was THE tenor
sax player who, aged 19, played the 1942 solo in "Flying Home" that
changed the whole tenor style that followed in the Jazz At The
Philarmonic concerts, and elsewhere. Illinois's solo happens to be one
of the few scored for a full big band section. Bunny Berigan's solo in
Tommy Dorsey's "Marie" is another, and there are probably more.
I know Illinois Jacquet well as his daughter, Pamela, graduated from the
medical school where I taught. He says that when Hamp called for his
solo, Marshall Royal, playing lead alto, said "Go for it" to the
youngster, and Illinois did just that. Illinois, whose name is properly
pronounced  Zha-KAY" ("New Grove" is correct) still leads his big band
with zest, more in a swing and ballad mode than the honks he made
famous. Cheers.
Fred Spencer