Volume seven in the Masters of Jazz session-by-session history of Benny Carter opens with two recordings waxed for the Sonora label in Stockholm on September 12, 1936. This is your day to learn a new word in Swedish; "med" means "with." For example: on side A ("Some of These Days") the ten-piece band was billed as "Benny Carter med Sonora Swing Band" while on side B ("Gloaming") the 14 players were presented to the Scandinavian record-buying public as "Benny Carter med All-Star Orchestra." The clarinet solo on "Some of These Days" is attributed to one Charles Redland. Tracks four through eight were recorded in London on October 13, 1936 and feature vocalist Elisabeth Welch (who sounds like Adelaide Hall) backed by a friendly little group composed of pianist Gene Rodgers, guitarist Ivor Mairants, bassist Wally Morris, and trumpeter/alto saxophonist Carter. Tracks nine through fourteen are similarly intimate offerings cooked up six days later by Carter's Swing Quintet, now with Tommy McQuater blowing the trumpet. Carter's next opportunity to record occurred during the second week of January 1937, and resulted in the music heard on tracks 15 through 23. Carter sings on the first version of "There's a Small Hotel" (take two is instrumental). His 12-piece orchestra included reedmen Freddy Gardner and Buddy Featherstonaugh. Originally unissued, the lovely "Rambling in C" is a sort of reverie for alto sax, piano, and guitar. Track 24 makes available a selection not to be found in most Carter discographical session indexes: "One, Two, Button Your Shoe" as sung by George Elrick with the BBC Dance Orchestra using a Carter arrangement. This useful compilation ends with another example of Carter the arranger: "Rhythm of the Tambourine" was recorded by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra (without Carter) in New York on March 2, 1937. Like its immediate predecessor in the series, Vol. 7 contains eight alternate takes. While seasoned listeners will enjoy comparing the solos, those who only want to hear each song played once should seek out the master takes as compiled on the Classics Chronological Series.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: The BBC Dance Orchestra