Tuesday, 27 May 2014

22. Benny Goodman: The Very Best Of Benny Goodman (RCA Victor)

Click here for my original blog post and thoughts on Benny Goodman

There are a plethora of Benny Goodman compilations out there, some of them very good and some downright awful in terms of sound quality. I chose this offering as there appears to have been some care regarding the sonic quality of the tunes offered. All of the songs on the album are from 1935 when Goodman and his orchestra stormed the Palomar Ballroom in California right through to the height of their fame in 1938.

The album also gives a good idea of Goodman´s range as a musician - from full on orchestra to the more nuanced tracks involving his quartet with the now legendary Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson. The song choices really reflect the chart topping hits of a time when jazz was the most popular music of the day. From the barnstorming Bugle Call Rag and St Louis Blues through to Count Basie´s One O´Clock Jump, Chick Webb´s Stomping At The Savoy, Duke Ellington´s In A Sentimental Mood and Jelly Roll Morton´s King Porter Stomp. The whole thing wraps up with the unmistakeable Sing Sing Sing in all its eight minute glory. This is the song that brought the house down when Goodman and his men played at Carnegie Hall in 1938 and brought jazz to the masses, for better or for worse.

1. Bugle Call Rag
2. St. Louis Blues
3. Swingtime in the Rockies
4. One O'Clock Jump
5. Exactly Like You
6. Sweet Georgia Brown
7. I Know That You Know
8. And the Angels Sing
9. Stompin' at the Savoy
10. After You've Gone
11. Avalon
12. In a Sentimental Mood
13. The Glory of Love
14. Goody Goody
15. Bei Mir Bist du Schön, Pt. 1
16. Bei Mir Bist du Schön, Pt. 2
17. I Cried for You
18. Moonglow
19. King Porter Stomp
20. Sing, Sing, Sing, Pt. 1 & 2