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The Complete RCA Victor Small Group Recordings

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Album Review

The music of the Benny Goodman Trio and Quartets (with the clarinetist, pianist Teddy Wilson, drummer Gene Krupa and sometimes vibraphonist Lionel Hampton) has been put out many times through the years, including in other, earlier "complete" sets. This 1997 three-CD reissue not only has all of the regular recordings, but 20 alternate takes, two of which were previously unissued. Many of the performances (such as "After You've Gone," "Moonglow," "Dinah" and "Avalon") are quite famous, considered perfect examples of "chamber jazz," and veteran collectors will certainly enjoy hearing many of the alternates. Singers Helen Ward and Martha Tilton, trumpeter Ziggy Elman (on "Bei Mist Bist Du Schoen") and (after Krupa's departure) drummers Dave Tough and Buddy Schutz, bassist John Kirby and pianist Jess Stacy also make appearances. Classic music with many exciting moments from the King of Swing and his famous sidemen.

Customer Reviews

Greatest Music

These recordings are some of the best ever made. Ever. Goodman was big enough that when he got flack for there being a black men in the band(Hampton,Wilson),Goodman said he didn't care. One of the first public racial barriers was crossed at that time. And other than the social implications, this music is phenomenal. All of these musicians were at the top of their games, and the band size would presage jazz's future.


Born: May 30, 1909 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Benny Goodman was the first celebrated bandleader of the Swing Era, dubbed "The King of Swing," his popular emergence marking the beginning of the era. He was an accomplished clarinetist whose distinctive playing gave an identity both to his big band and to the smaller units he led simultaneously. The most popular...
Full Bio

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