Slide Hampton Octet

Half Note, New York City

Personnel: Hampton and Charles Greenlea, doubling trombone, euphonium; Richard Williams and Hobart Dotson, trumpets; George Coleman, tenor saxophone; Jay Cameron, baritone saxophone; Larry Ridley, bass; Stu Martin, drums.

There are times when this octet sounds like a big band with all the unnecessary sound filtered out. When not playing, the leader conducts with one hand as he waves his trombone in the other. Hampton's directorial enthusiasm sometimes approaches the intensity of the Newport Youth Band's Marshall Brown.

Leader Hampton does most of the arrangements himself; he became well known for his original arrangements for the Maynard Ferguson Band. Trumpeter Williams and drummer Martin also have written some arrangements for the group. All are designed to give each brass and reed men featured solos, as well as to put them in various combinations for different tonal effects.

Hampton's euphonium solo on Dizzy Gillespie's "Ow!" has a sound similar to that of Miles Davis's trumpet. Other outstanding solos were by trumpeter Richard Williams doing a beautifully executed "I Remember Clifford", tenor saxophonist Coleman playing "Milestones", and trombonist Greenlea on "Fox Head".

All the arrangements include melodic and rhythmic ingredients without compromise or the use of clichés.

George Hoefer
Down Beat
October 27, 1960
p. 56