This first volume in a series of broadcasts originating from the Madhattan Ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City date from the fall of 1937. The transcription discs used as source material are in excellent shape, with little in the way of surface noise. Benny Goodman and his band are in great spirits throughout each of the two shows. There are a variety of big band numbers, vocal features for Martha Tilton, along with the popular trio and quartet recordings (with Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa and Lionel Hampton). In addition to favorites like "Avalon" (by the quartet), there's the friendly banter in "Loch Lamond" between Tilton and Goodman (who joins the vocal fun), and Fletcher Henderson's swinging arrangement of "Chlo-e." It is surprising that ten of the selections were never commercially recorded by Goodman. Unfortunately, this CD will be somewhat hard to find, due to the demise of the collector's label Viper's Nest.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden