Benny Goodman

A Jazz Holiday [Decca]

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This two-LP set contains some of Benny Goodman's most interesting pre-swing recordings. The many highlights include two sides by his very first trio (from 1928), the satirical "Shirt Tale Stomp," Goodman's only recorded trumpet solo (on "Jungle Blues") and some rare spots on alto and baritone, four classic sides by the Joe Venuti-Eddie Lang All-Star Orchestra (including definitive versions of "Beale Street Blues" and "Farewell Blues" with trombonist/singer Jack Teagarden) and sessions led by Adrian Rollini and Red Nichols (the latter has memorable renditions of "Dinah" and "Indiana" along with a famous version of "The Sheik of Araby"). These many all-star New York bands are full of young and energetic players with BG only 19 on the earliest of these hot sides. Highly recommended in one form or another; some of the material has since been reissued on CD.