Benny Goodman & His Orchestra

1936, Vol. 2

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Volume seven in the Classics Benny Goodman chronology presents 22 sides recorded for the Victor label in Hollywood during August 1936 and in New York during October and November of that year. Three big band performances open this compilation; the first two used arrangements written by Fletcher Henderson. Next come four titles excellently rendered by the Benny Goodman trio and quartet with Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, who sings wonderfully on "Exactly Like You" and the "Vibraphone Blues." The big band session that took place on October 7 produced three vocals by Helen Ward and three instrumentals, including a Henderson-arranged "Alexander's Ragtime Band" as well as the solidly swung "Riffin' at the Ritz," during which Goodman melted into the reed section in a rare switch from clarinet to alto saxophone; the sax solo is by tenor man Vido Musso, who sounds a lot like Chu Berry or Coleman Hawkins. Henderson also arranged "Somebody Loves Me" and Jimmy Mundy drew up the charts for "Jam Session" and "Bugle Call Rag." These titles were waxed on November 5, 1936; on that same day Goodman sang "T'ain't No Use" and Chick Webb's star vocalist Ella Fitzgerald sat in on three recordings that generated flack from executives at Decca who protested that Ella was breaching her contract by getting with Victor. During a subsequent recall of product and reissuing of reshuffled titles, "Did You Mean It?" was pulled from the catalog entirely and would not reappear for many years. This segment of the chronology ends with two byproducts of a quartet session that occurred on November 18, 1936. The remaining titles from this date appear on the next volume in the series.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:18
2 3:18
3 3:34
4 2:31
5 3:20
6 2:38
7 3:19
9 3:16
10 3:09
11 2:42
12 3:28
13 2:05
14 2:47
15 2:41
16 2:56
17 2:52
18 3:05
19 2:27
20 2:18
21 3:16
22 3:23
blue highlight denotes track pick