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BENNY GOODMAN

The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Avid AMBX 151

 

 


CD1

1938 CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT: PART ONE

1. Donít Be That Way
2. Sometimes Iím Happy
3. One OíClock Jump
4. Sensation Rag
5. Iím Coming Virginia
6. When My Baby Smiles at Me
7. Shine
8. Blue Reverie
9. Life Goes To A Party
10. HONEYSUCKLE ROSE - Ensemble
11. Lester Young Solo
12. Count Basie Solo
13. Buck Clayton Solo
14. Johnny Hodges Solo
15. Rhythm Section
16. Harry Carney Solo
17. Benny Goodman Solo
18. Freddie Green Solo
19. Harry James Solo into Jam
20. Body And Soul
21. Avalon
22. The Man I Love
23. I Got Rhythm
24. Blue Skies
25. Loch Lomond
26. The Blue Room
27. Swingtime in The Rockies
28. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
CD2

1938 CARNEGiE HALL CONCERT: PART TWO

1. China Boy
2. Stompiní At The Savoy
3. Dizzy Spells
4. Sing, Sing, Sing - Part 1
5. Sing, Sing, Sing - Part 2
6. Sing, Sing, Sing - Part 3
7. If Dreams Come True
8. Big Johnís Special
FROM THE ALBUM "BG in HI-FI"

9. Air Mail Special
10. Get Happy
11. Jersey Bounce
12. When I Grow Too Old To Dream
13. You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me
14. Blue Lou
15. Jumpiní At The Woodside
16. Stompiní At The Savoy
17. Sent For You Yesterday and Here You Come Today
18. What Can I Say After I Say Iím Sorry?
19. Rock Rimmon
20. Youíre A Sweetheart
21. Somebody Stole My Gal
CD3

"BG in Hi-FI" continued

1. Letís Dance
2. Big Johnís Special
FROM THE ALBUM "MR BENNY GOODMAN PLAYS THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY"

3. Down South Camp Meetiní
4. And The Angels Sing
5. Goodbye
6. Sing, Sing, Sing
7. Bugle Call Rag
8. Shine
9. One OíClock Jump
10. Donít Be That Way
11. Itís Been So Long
12. Sometimes Iím Happy
13. Goody Goody
14. Avalon
15. Moonglow
16. Memories Of You
17. China Boy
FROM THE ALBUM "DATE WITH THE KING"

18. Itís Bad For Me
19. Goodbye
20. Thatís A Plenty
21. Memories Of You
22. Canít We Talk It Over
23. A Fine Romance
CD4

SOUNDTRACK OF "THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY"

1. Letís Dance
2. Down South Camp Meetiní
3. King Porter Stomp
4. Itís Been So Long
5. Roll ĎEm
6. Bugle Call Rag
7. Donít Be That Way
8. You Turned the Tables On Me
9. Goody Goody
10. Slipped Disc
11. Stompiní At The Savoy
12. One OíClock Jump
13. Memories Of You
14. China Boy
15. Moonglow
16. Avalon
17. And The Angels Sing
18. Jersey Bounce
19. Sometimes Iím Happy
20. Shine
21. Sing, Sing, Sing

If anyone is to blame for me becoming a part-time drummer, it is Gene Krupa. Seeing him on film in my formative years persuaded me that I wanted to play the drums Ė with the same energy and enthusiasm that Gene had. The famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert by the Benny Goodman band is a fine example of why Krupaís drumming was so inspiring. He drives the band along with inexhaustible vigour and also forms an integral part of the Goodman quartet and trio. Krupa makes his presence felt right from the start, in Donít Be That Way, with some assertive thumps on the bass drum and a drum break which makes the audience cheer. The tune ends with a measured decrescendo which is broken by Geneís suddenly erupting single-stroke roll.

One OíClock Jump is similarly stoked by the drums, pushing along a gradual crescendo from the whole orchestra, with Goodmanís clarinet riding above the ensemble (as it so often did), aided by the lively acoustics of Carnegie Hall. Iím Coming Virginia borrows heavily from Bix Beiderbeckeís classic recording but cornettist Bobby Hackett plays it with feeling. The tunes on either side of this track are almost cod versions of Dixieland numbers.
Harry James appropriately shines in Shine, followed by Johnny Hodges on soprano sax sounding remarkably like Sidney Bechet in Blue Reverie. The forceful dynamism of Life Goes to a Party is irresistible and again illustrates why Gene Krupa was so important to the Goodman band. Then comes a jam session on Honeysuckle Rose featuring star members of the Goodman, Ellington and Basie bands. This lasts for more than 16 minutes but it doesnít seem overlong, as virtuosi of the calibre of Lester Young, Harry Carney and Harry James contribute solos. Count Basieís piano is characteristically economical ,and modest guitarist Freddie Green even gets to play a rare solo.
Attention then turns to Bennyís small groups, with a restrained Body and Soul from the trio before Lionel Hampton joins them for three numbers, of which Avalon and I Got Rhythm display incredible swing and co-ordination from all four musicians.

The second disc completes the Carnegie concert with three impressive small-group performances. The speed at which Hampton attacks the vibes on Dizzy Spells defies belief. Then comes what many people would regard as the highlight of the concert: Sing, Sing, Sing which includes not only Gene Krupaís show-stopping performance but also a memorable piano solo from Jess Stacy. Two big-band arrangements round off this truly ground-breaking concert.

When the Avid label released a slightly truncated version of these recordings in 2003 as a three-CD boxed set, they filled up the space with some tasty small-group and big-band recordings from the mid-1940s. Now, on this four-CD set, the fillers are recordings from four mid-fifties albums (see the listings above). This comes as rather an anti-climax to the Carnegie Hall recordings. The band is still well-drilled and Goodmanís clarinet is as fluent as ever but there is little of the excitement of the earlier recordings. And many tracks are virtual repeats of tunes heard at Carnegie Hall, including Big Johnís Special, One OíClock Jump, and Sing, Sing, Sing (twice Ė the first time with Bobby Donaldson given the unenviable task of filling Gene Krupaís shoes). Other tunes Ė like Bugle Call Rag, Goodbye and Memories of You Ė appear two or three times on the fifties recordings. Itís as if Benny was leading a tribute band to his orchestra of old, retreading his greatest hits.

There are a few saving graces Ė like Charlie Shaversí fiery trumpet in 1954 quintet recordings of Air Mail Special and Get Happy (with the ineffable Mel Powell at the piano) and Ruby Braffís welcome appearance on Rock Rimmon and Youíre a Sweetheart. But most of these later tracks are a let-down after the sheer brilliance of 1938. Still, Dave Bennettís remastering makes all these recordings sound as good as modern techniques can.


Tony Augarde

 



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