Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman from the Congress Hotel, Vol. 2: 1936 [Circle]

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The second of three CDs that document the existing radio broadcasts of Benny Goodman's Orchestra from Chicago's Congress Hotel has the performances of January 20 and February 3, 1936. Goodman's gig at the Congress Hotel was originally supposed to be one month but it went on for six. Although the orchestra was in a transitional phase (after Bunny Berigan had left and before Ziggy Elman and Harry James joined), with clarinetist Goodman being the only major soloist, the big band's swing style was becoming very influential and a pacesetter in jazz. Volume Two has seven Helen Ward vocals (including "You Hit the Spot") and such swinging instrumentals as "Farewell Blues," "Transcontinental," and "King Porter Stomp." Although Volume One and Volume Three have slightly better material (and get the edge), all three CDs are easily recommended to Benny Goodman fans who already own his studio recordings of the period.