Benny Goodman arranged to record a number of concerts during his 1962 tour of the Soviet Union, and arranged for RCA Victor to release excerpts of his final week in Moscow within this two-record set. In spite of the rather unreliable electric service, and a blown fuse in the middle of a septet version of "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" (which was still edited and released), the sound quality is generally very good, and the audiences are respectfully quiet while enjoying a rare visit by an American Jazz icon. The clarinetist is in great form throughout this recording. Although there are a number of standards present long associated with Goodman, there's also plenty of valuable new material. Tommy Newsom's "Titter Pipes," features both Phil Woods and Zoot Sims, and was a hit with the audience. Pianist John Bunch's swinging "Why You" and "Feathers" merit praise, as do the surprise inclusion of two of Tadd Dameron's compositions, "Fontainebleau" and "Swift as the Wind." Teddy Wilson takes over on piano for the quintet medley of time-tested favorites.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden