1939 was most significant in Benny Goodman's history for the discovery of electric guitarist Charlie Christian, who became a part of the clarinetist's new sextet with Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Artie Bernstein, and Nick Fatool. On this CD, Christian is featured on such numbers as the earliest version of "Flying Home," "Rose Room," "Stardust," "Memories of You," "Soft Winds," and "Seven Come Eleven," plus the big band version of "Honeysuckle Rose." The Goodman orchestra (which still featured trumpeter Ziggy Elman) is heard on the majority of the selections, including the earliest full-length recording of Goodman's theme "Let's Dance" and a few numbers with singer Mildred Bailey. These Columbia sessions have not often been reissued in full, so this disc makes for a fine acquisition for listeners not already owning the Christian sextet tracks.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow