Leaving aside Red Norvo, the obvious subject for this tribute would be Lionel Hampton, and a few of these performances are aimed that way, but the real honors go to the neglected Thirties recordings Adrian Rollini made for Victor and Vocalion, on vibraphone.
This set was the idea of Frans Sjostrom, the noble bass saxophonist who brought his horn onstage late in the program. The band at the start was Andy Schumm, trumpet; Steve Andrews, reeds; Alistair Allan, trombone; Paul Asaro, piano; Mike Piggott, violin; Philippe Guignier, guitar; Bruce Rollo, string bass; Richard Pite, drums.
The first two selections are loose-limbed jam sessions on familiar changes — performances that recall the imperishable 1937-41 records that Hampton made for Victor:
I GOT RHYTHM (Elin):
Frans brought his bass saxophone onstage and gave the other horns a rest for the Rollini SWING LOW (Elin) — which doesn’t go where one would expect it to:
For me, the highlight of the set was their version of SMALL FRY, which harks back to a lovely 1938 recording Rollini made for Vocalion featuring Bobby Hackett, whose place Andy Schumm takes for an interval. (Thorbye):
I’d like to see some bands in the States take on this tune — it has its own life! Thanks again to Elin Smith, “elinshouse” on YouTube, and Flemming Thorbye, “thorbye” in the same place, for their willingness to offer their videos to JAZZ LIVES.