Lionel Hampton traversed a century of jazz. He was born in 1908 and remained active until he died in 2002, not only being a part of every jazz age – swing, dance halls, bebop – but also giving the vibraphone its letters of nobility while writing vital chapters of the music. In the early Thirties with Louis Armstrong he recorded the first vibraphone solo in jazz history before joining Benny Goodman’s trio with Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa. At the same time, he recorded with small groups led by Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, Harry James, Dizzy Gillespie or Benny Carter, and then created his own band in 1940. He turned it into one of the most famous jazz groups of the Forties and Fifties. This multi-talented musician – showman, vibes player, drummer and pianist – incarnated jazz for seven whole decades. The titles here date from his most creative and original period, when in September ’53, and April & September ’54, he recorded these eleven titles with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich. This high-tension alliance with a peerless leader created music that makes this album an unavoidable concentrate of jazz history.