Lionel Hampton - Stardust: the defining song
This is the version of the song that literally stopped me in my tracks and made me seriously weigh up whether I could create something beautiful.
It's also one of my favourite Peterson recordings.
I remember sitting down and listening to this on tape—I think it was on an Atlantic compilation. There was Gary Burton, Eddie Costa, Red Norvo—a stunning cut of Seven By Eleven—and then THIS. This is the song.
Hampton pushes the beat forward, drives it on, mixing bop and swing vocabularies and then—he's fearless!—some highly chromatic language. He's a polymath, open to everything.
It always makes me stop.