Slide Hampton and friends

Jazz Kitchen

Friday, April 20-Sunday, April 22

It was a celebration to remember at the Jazz Kitchen for Slide Hampton’s 75th birthday celebration. Capacity crowds were on hand all three nights for the memorable performances. On Friday, the trombone trio of Hampton, former Indy native Phil Ranelin and Steve Davis from New York created a rich, burnished sound at all tempos. On “Get Happy,” the three battled each other to the delight of the fans. Saturday was a softer sound with an excellent Brazilian band, Jabacule, sporting a fiery tenor saxophonist. Hampton was joined by his nephew, Pharez Whitted, on trumpet as both played witty solos over the flowing powerhouse bossa nova tempos. Stunning vocalist Fabriana effectively interpreted the moods of Jobim. Steve Allee’s brilliant piano solos were joyous and free as he wailed away in the samba mode.

Sunday featured Hampton’s masterful trombone work with the Steve Allee Big Band, on fire the whole evening, playing Hampton’s challenging arrangements from bop to ballads.

The highlight of the evening was a “Tribute to Virtue Hampton,” when 91-year-old Aletra Hampton was wheeled to the piano to sing and play a powerfully resounding and emotional “I Loves You Porgy,” supported by Hampton’s trombone. There was hardly a dry eye in the room. Other members of the Hampton family sang and played together with Slide and Allee’s Big Band. It was a night and a weekend to remember, honoring Indy’s world-class jazz icon, Slide Hampton.

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