Benny Goodman

Bangkok 1956

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This is one of the more unusual live CDs by Benny Goodman, recorded in December 1956 over two days in Bangkok, Thailand. He leads a 13-piece group, which includes Budd Johnson and Peanuts Hucko in the reed section, along with pianist Hank Jones and bassist Israel Crosby. Goodman and his band are at their very best, in spite of playing outdoors and competing, on occasion, with a passing train; this early stereo recording, performed with just two microphones, was made with the clarinetist's permission. In addition to favorites like "Don't Be That Way," "One O'Clock Jump" and "Flying Home," Goodman surprises the audience by playing two works composed by His Majesty the King of Thailand Bhumiphol Adujadet, as well as a brief sign off of the "Thai Royal Anthem." Jones and drummer Mousie Alexander join the leader for exciting trio renditions for "The World Is Waiting For Sunrise" and "Lady Be Good," during which Jones sounds very much like Teddy Wilson. This historic CD is well worth acquiring.

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