Benny Goodman, Benny Goodman: 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert Plus 1944-47 Small Group And Big Band Masterpieces

Fred Kaplan

By Fred Kaplan

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The King of “Sing, Sing, Sing” and co. rock the house on this epochal gig

This is the one that started it all, that pushed jazz into the concert hall (Carnegie, no less) and proved jazz could be high art and dance music, too. But its virtues aren't merely historical — this thing cooks like crazy. It's the high water mark of the swing era. From the opening number, "Don't Be That Way," when Gene Krupa takes his wowza drum break, Harry James comes roaring in with his crystal trumpet solo and the whole big band picks up its pace, you'll be sold. There's lots of pops and clicks, and they do get in the way, but the joy shines through.