Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman & Friends

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This 11-song LP is kind of a "best-of" Benny Goodman's work on the London label, for which he recorded during the 1970s. Confined to a small group setting (with a fine but uncredited array of musicians behind him), Goodman turns in spirited and beautifully played new interpretations of such familiar vintage numbers as "China Boy" (which he'd previously cut in the '30s with his trio and orchestra), "Please Be Kind," "I Ain't Got Nobody," and four other classic tunes, in addition to Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns," a then-new song from a current musical of the time. Though hardly groundbreaking, the performances are all worth hearing and differ little (if at all) from the way Goodman might've done them 35 years earlier, except that the fidelity is superb and the sound is as smooth and elegant as the playing.

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