CD Live at Carnegie Hall: 40th Anniversary Concert (CD 1165435),
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Live at Carnegie Hall: 40th Anniversary Concert

  • 1. Let's Dance
    2. I've Found a New Baby
    3. Intro: Benny Goodman
    4. Send in the Clowns
    5. Intro: Martha Tilton
    6. Loch Lomond
    7. Star Dust
    8. I Love a Piano
    9. Intro: Mary Lou Williams
    10. Roll'em
    11. Speech: Benny's Carnegie Story
    12. King Porter Stomp
    13. Intro: Jack Sheldon
    14. Rocky Raccoon
    15. Yesterday
    16. That's a Plenty
    17. Intro: Lionel Hampton
    18. How High the Moon
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): CDLK4355

  • Credits

    Personnel: Benny Goodman (clarinet); Martha Tilton, Debi Craig (vocals); George Young, Mel Rondon (alto saxophone); Buddy Tate, Frank Wess (tenor saxophone); Sol Schlinger (baritone saxophone); Victor Paz, Warren Vache, Jack Sheldon (trumpet); Wayne Andre, George Masso, John Messner (trombone); Jimmy Rowles, John Bunch, Mary Lou Williams (piano); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Cal Collins, Wayne Wright (guitar); Michael Moore (bass); Connie Kay (drums).
    Recorded live at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York on January 17, 1978. Includes liner notes by Russ Connor.
    In 1978, Benny Goodman celebrated the 40th anniversary of his original pioneering Carnegie Hall concert with an anniversary performance at the palace of classical music. From reviews of the actual event, the music and presentation were quite erratic, but this double LP (and double CD), which only includes the best moments, is on a higher level. In addition to a strong big band, Goodman was joined by vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, pianist Mary Lou Williams -- whose performance throughout makes this set worth hearing -- his late-'30s vocalist Martha Tilton, and a newer singer, Debi Craig. With trumpeters Warren Vache and Jack Sheldon, and tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate also getting solo space, Goodman was fairly inspired; he even sings "I Love a Piano," reminding listeners of the fact that he occasionally sang with his band in their prime years, and even in one of their movies (The Gang's All Here). With the exception of a medley, "Loch Lomond," and, of course, "Sing Sing Sing" (which has drummer Connie Kay playing Gene Krupa's famous solo), none of the songs from the 1938 concert were reprised. And it is the new repertory that gives Goodman the most difficulty -- he reaches out to add some contemporary numbers, including Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" (which isn't terribly inspired here), John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" (which sort of works), and "Rocky Raccoon" (embarrassingly sung by Jack Sheldon -- why they didn't look at doing, say, "When I'm Sixty Four," which has a juicy clarinet part in it already, is anyone's guess, but none of these really lend themselves to improvisation in the way that the popular songs of Goodman's prime did. The swing-era numbers that are covered -- "King Porter Stomp," "That's a Plenty," "Moonglow," etc. -- are generally good, with "Roll 'Em" (featuring superb piano by Williams, and solos by Buddy Tate, Vache, and Goodman, plus a Krupa-style finish by Kay on the drums) the highlight. As with many live albums of this period, it is somewhat under-recorded between the songs, so that playing the music at a reasonable volume can leave the listener straining to hear what is being said by Goodman et. al by way of introduction. Apart from those digressions into contemporary music, this is a surprisingly worthwhile set, showing Goodman still in fine form musically eight years before his death. ~ Scott Yanow & Bruce Eder

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