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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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BENNY GOODMAN

The Benny Goodman Show
Volume Six

Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 849

 

 


1. Introduction: Let's Dance
2. Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart
3. Comedy by Victor Borge, Benny Goodman and Don Wilson
4. Shine
5. Comedy by Victor Borge and Lucille Ball
6. Blue Skies
7. Comedy by Victor Borge and Lucille Ball
8. I Want To Go Where You Go
9. Medley of Waltzes
10. Closer: Good-Bye
11. Introduction
12. Rosalie
13. Comedy by Victor Borge, Benny Goodman and Don Wilson
14. Selections by Frederic Chopin
15. Poor Butterfly
16. Comedy by Victor Borge and Slim Gaillard
17. Rachel's Dream
18. All The Things You Are
19. Closer: Good-Bye

Benny Goodman - Clarinet (tracks 1- 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19)
John Best, Nate Kazebier, Dick Mains, Mickey McMickle - Trumpets (tracks 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19)
Leon Cox, Cutty Cutshall - Trombones (tracks 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19)
Addison Collins - French horn (tracks 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19)
Larry Molinelli, Hymie Schertzer - Alto saxes (tracks 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19)
Cliff Strickland, Lester Dark - Tenor saxes (tracks 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19)
Al Klink - Baritone sax (tracks 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19)
Joe Bushkin - Piano (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19)
Mike Bryan - Guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19)
Barney Spieler - Bass (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19)
Louie Bellson - Drums (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19)
Johnny White - Vibes (tracks 4, 8, 17)
Art Lund - Vocals (track 6)
Lucille Ball
Slim Gaillard
Don Wilson - Presenter
Mobilgas Orchestra

 

Sounds of Yester Year has dug many interesting recordings out of the archives of the Armed Forces Radio Service. This is the sixth volume in a series which hopes to cover all Benny's broadcasts, of which we have here the 13th and 14th shows - both from 1946. Like the previous releases in this series, the CD includes some comedy - this time featuring Victor Borge, Lucille Ball and Slim Gaillard.

The trouble from the jazz fan's perspective is that the comedy takes up almost as much space as BG's band and sextet, so that the album contains less than 30 minutes of Goodman's groups. Of this material, the best tracks are those by the sextet - i.e. tracks 4, 8 and 17. Most of the big-band cuts have Goodman soloing prominently, with the orchestra mainly providing accompaniment. The sextet tracks include the catchy I Want To Go Where You Go and an ingenious arrangement of Rachel's Dream. The latter made me aware of the resemblance between Benny's small groups and the George Shearing Quintet, which had the same line-up except no clarinettist. Both groups made bright, invigorating sounds with the help of piano, guitar and vibes.

As for the rest of the album, the comedy from Victor Borge is fairly amusing - but probably once will do, while Slim Gaillard makes a brief appearance to plug his invented nonsense "Vout" language. Borge also plays the piano in two features where he is backed by the Mobilgas Orchestra. But jazz enthusiasts may not be eager to hear his sentimental version of All The Things You Are or his potted version of compositions by Chopin. Even at budget price, this album may only appeal to completist Benny Goodman fans.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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