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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Jazz on Film: Caveat Emptor

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There are good documentaries about jazz. A person can see the films listed on this site and walk away without reaching for the gas pipe. But, as the furor around the film Whiplash (well, to jazz people it was furor) reminds us, it's wise to keep the bar low. When Hollywood does jazz, it should stick to hagiography and cheesy romance: The Benny Goodman Story, The Fabulous Dorseys, The Glenn Miller Story; these are really just the Lindbergh, Curie and Young ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Goodman: Benny Goodman Yale University Archives Volume 1

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The sound of the opener is unmistakable; it's the familiar, driving urgency of Benny Goodman's clarinet, which made him the undisputed “King of Swing," heard again in all its electrifying glory on “Sweet Georgia Brown," the 1967 take which opens this collection. Recorded live in New York's old Rainbow Grill, Goodman is in solid company with pianist Bernie Leighton, bassist George Duvivier and especially saxophonist Zoot Sims. With a simpatico honed by playing together over the decades, Sims' sleek, rhythmic ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Benny Goodman: Yale University Archives, Vol. 2 (Big Band 1957-1964) & Celebrates 100 Years of Benny

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Benny GoodmanYale University Archives, Vol. 2 (Big Band 1957-1964)Nimbus2009 Dave BennettCelebrates 100 Years of BennyRecord Label #2Year On May 30th, the great Benny Goodman would have turned 100. The celebration of this milestone continues with the release of some excellent archival material, as well as a wonderful tribute album from one of the clarinet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Goodman: 40th Anniversary Concert (Live at Carnegie Hall)

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One autumn day in 1978, a sprightly 69-year-old Benny Goodman decided on a whim that he wanted to 'book' Carnegie Hall for a gig commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the landmark performance held and so famously-recorded there for the Columbia label in 1938. That show registered as the first official full-length jazz program ever held at the hallowed venue. Tickets for the anniversary gig sold out in a matter of hours, with no advertising or even a formal announcement. Goodman's ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Benny Goodman: The Essential & With Benny in Mind

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Benny Goodman The Essential Benny Goodman Columbia/Bluebird/Legacy 2007 Allan Vaché With Benny in Mind Arbors 2006

By the time of his death in 1987, clarinetist Benny Goodman was firmly entrenched in many minds as the “King of Swing , with countless recordings made throughout a career that lasted over a half-century. A recent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Goodman: Centennial Collection

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By Francis Lo Kee

Clarinetist Benny Goodman (1909-86) is considered by jazz historians to be one of the most important musicians in all of jazz, though not all of his important achievements were strictly musical. He is credited with racially integrating his bands at a time when it was not a popular idea, yet he brought jazz a level of audience attention that would earn it the title of pop music today. The DVD presents footage from 1939-66, while the ...

SWING SET

Benny Goodman: "Sing, Sing, Sing"

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Part I in a series exploring the history of the Swing Era's greatest songs. The Paramount Benny Goodman and his band arrived at the Paramount Theater on the morning of March 3, 1937 to find throngs of students waiting in line. Goodman had assumed that this engagement, which started at 8:30 in the morning and preceded a Claudette Colbert picture, wouldn't be that big of a deal. But when the band appeared on the slowly ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Clarinet

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When you hear the phrase, “New Orleans jazz," what three instruments immediately come to mid? That's right: cornet, trombone, and clarinet. In those early jazz combos, the clarinet provided a soaring, high register obbligato that enhanced, and, in the hands of the amazing Sidney Bechet, challenged, the cornet's lead line. A decade or so later, the clarinet occupied a rightful place as one of the signature instruments of the big band era, serving as a distinctive tone color in the ...



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