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Yale University Archives, Vol. 2 (Big Band 1957-1964)
Celebrates 100 Years of Benny
Record Label #2
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 legend's most avid followers. Yale University Archives, Vol. 2 (Big Band 1957-1964)
presents a comprehensive time capsule of Goodman's work during a career resurgence that followed the 1956 release of the Hollywood production The Benny Goodman Story
. This newfound interest in one of the fathers of Swing put him in high demand, resulting in numerous opportunities to perform and record. This double CD offering includes 34 selections from this period, all of them featuring outstanding sound quality that will serve as an ear-opener to those solely familiar with Goodman's earlier recordings.
The first disc focuses on a 1958 concert in Brussels, wherein Goodman and his large orchestra tackle familiar standards, about half of which feature vocalists Jimmy Rushing or Ethel Ennis. The former shines on the Irving Berlin classic "Blue Skies" as well as the humorous "Harvard Blues" while the latter performs a solid rendition of "A Fine Romance". The band, which includes Zoot Sims (tenor) and Gene Allen (baritone) on a few numbers, remains in fine form throughout, but the second disc proves to be the stronger of the two.
Rather than focusing on one date, the second disc showcases Goodman in six different ensembles of various sizes. In addition to Sims and Allen, hard bop luminaries Pepper Adams (baritone), Milt Hinton (bass), Kenny Burrell (guitar) and Hank Jones (piano) all join in the fun. Along with the diversity of players, the song selection definitely departs from the standard Goodman songbook. One highlight is the "The Earl," a tribute to "Fatha" Hines performed in May 1957 by the small ensemble that served during that period as the house band at New York's Waldorf-Astoria.
Fast forward to present day, where Goodman's legacy continues to flourish, thanks to the efforts of various tribute bands across the globe. One of Goodman's most popular disciples, 24-year-old clarinetist Dave Bennett, celebrates the centennial of the jazz legend's birth with a new tribute album. Bennett gets excellent support from respected players Dick Hyman (piano) and Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar) on some of the numbers. The disc also includes three live cuts from one of Bennett's 2006 concert dates.
This release promises that we can expect much more from the virtuoso Bennett, whose wide range of talents and musical interests is outlined in Scott Yanow's compelling liner notes. We find the young leader in especially fine form on the medium tempo "If I Had You" as well as on lengthy, explorative versions of the classics "I Got Rhythm" and "Sing, Sing, Sing".
Goodman novices should start with the 1938 Carnegie Hall performance, as well as his early RCA Victor work. However, these new releases honor the legacy of one of jazz' most important figures.
Tracks and Personnel Yale University Archives, Vol. 2 (Big Band 1957-1964)
Tracks: Disc 1: Let's Dance; Bugle Call Rag; On the Sunny Side of the Street; 'Deed I Do; Who Cares?; Blue Skies; I Want a Little Girl; Sometimes I'm Happy; Fine Romance; Harvard Blues; I'm Coming Virginia; Soon; Medley: I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues/I Hadn't Anyone Till You, I've; Pennies from Heaven; Stompin' at the Savoy; Flying Home; This Is My Lucky Day; Roll 'Em; Brussels Blues; When You're Smiling. Disc 2: Happy Session Blues; Autumn Nocturne; Oh, Baby; What a Difference a Day Makes; Oh Gee, Oh Joy; Earl; More Than You Know; You Couldn't Be Cuter; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Swift as the Wind; Them There Eyes; Room Without Windows; People; Benny Rides Again.
Personnel: Zoot Sims: tenor sax; Gene Allen: baritone sax; Pepper Adams: baritone sax; Milt Hinton: bass; Kenny Burrell: guitar; Hank Jones: piano. Celebrates 100 Years of Benny
Tracks: Benny´s Bugle; In a Sentimental Mood; If I Had You; My Funny Valentine; That´s A Plenty; Stompin´ at The Savoy; Moonlight In Vermont; I Got Rhythm; Poor Butterfly; Sing; Sing; Sing.
Personnel: Dave Bennett: clarinet; Paul Keller: bass; Pete Siers: drums; Bill Meyer: piano; Jim Cooper: vibes; Hugh Leal: guitar; Dick Hyman: piano; Ed Metz Jr.: drums; Bucky Pizzarelli: guitar; Jerry Bruno: bass.