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The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (Live)

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Customer Reviews

Essential Music ... Essential Album

It doesn't matter what type of music you like; rock, rap, jazz, pop, etc. You HAVE to hear this music! Once you get past the surface noise from the masters, the music becomes alive and amazing. Just listen to the first cut "Don't Be That Way" and check out drummer Gene Kupra's drum riff mid way through. Or listen to Lionnel Hampton's vibes on "Avalon". What a powerful performance. "Life Goes To A Party" and "Swingtime In The Rockies" are also great. And of course "Sing Sing Sing" brings it home with amazing solos and beat. Just try standing still. You won't.

Remarkable grouping of 30's jazz personnel jam live

Personnel from 3 of the top swing bands of the day came together on an historic night to jam, really, around a long list of popular tunes. Benny Goodman( BG) led with his band, augmented by personnel from Count Basie and Duke Ellington ( the Count played, Duke did not). Many of these personnel went on to form their own bands later on. Truly an all-star group of musicians all on the same stage, over which hung a single microphone. ( Recording was an after-thought: the tapes would be lost for 10 years, surfacing in BG’s closet). By coming together from different perspectives, these “all-stars” gave tunes like One O’clock Jump, Don’t Be That Way, and Honeysuckle Rose added life. Sing, Sing, Sing never was nor would it be again played this way, with Krupa so strong, and with an unplanned, virtuoso piano solo by Jess Stacy that people marvel at still. The explosive drum riffs in Don’t Be That Way by Krupa were not scripted either, and are credited with getting the musicians loosened up on this first song, all except Krupa nervous about being in Carnegie Hall, up until then reserved for classical music. Three other features should be mentioned: very classy women’s vocals on several popular tunes, the miraculous (really) and rhythmic sound of the BG quartet ( Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson. Gene Krupa, and BG), and the history lesson embedded in the middle third of the concert: six tunes trace jazz arrangements ranging back 20 years, covering Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and others. But mostly there is so much good music in one place. Your feet will tap. You’ll appreciate all the solos, and the wailing finishes. This is my favorite album, and I’m more than biased since it was my Dad’s first LP, which I wore out learning to play the drums. Definitely a collector’s item. (get the latest version of the CD that contains many extras, including a solo by Freddie Green on rhythm guitar, that was insensitively ordered up by BG on Honeysuckle Rose, but for which Freddie had the wrong guitar! And cut from the orig albums – BG was embarrassed)

Terrible Waste of Money . . .

Warning to anyone who loves Benny Goodman: don't buy this album, it's a total waste of money. The "surface noise" is so loud and obtrusive and the music itself so dull and muted that you can't listen to it for more than a minute before getting a crushing headache. In fact, it's as if the producers blunted the music and amped up the noise. We want to hear the music, not the limitations of 1938 recording technology. This could easily have been a knock out by simply remastering the album to get rid of the noise and accentuate the great music and the audience reactions. It's simply inexcusable in the 21st century and a golden opportunity wasted.


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 figure of the first few years of the Swing Era, he continued to perform until his death 50 years later. Goodman was the son of Russian immigrants David Goodman, a tailor, and Dora Rezinsky...
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