Benny Goodman

Jazz Holiday, 1926-1931: Early Benny Goodman

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AllMusic Review by

It should be embarrassing to the major labels that unauthorized European collections like this are an essential part of the American marketplace -- and that 15 years into the CD era, there's still not even a partly comprehensive Benny Goodman box from one (or more) of the labels with which he actually was under contract in his prime years. This 24-song CD would be the first disc of such a set, starting with Goodman's first major gig, in Ben Pollack's orchestra (and there isn't even a partly decent Pollack collection out there). The Early Benny Goodman gives us five Goodman-showcased numbers by Pollack, including "'Deed I Do" and "Waitin' for Katie" (on which he is reputed to play not only clarinet, but alto sax and cornet as well), both of which feature Glenn Miller on a hot trombone (not to mention Jimmy McPartland on cornet). Miller zig-zags in and out of Goodman's company, also turning up (with Wingy Manone on trumpet, too) on "Dinah," "Carolina in the Morning," "Who" and "How Come You Like Me Like You Do," by Red Nichols and His Five Pennies from 1929 to 1930. Two Ted Lewis numbers, "Royal Garden Blues" and "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby," featuring Fats Waller singing, are followed by a pair of Irving Mills Orchestra tracks that get Goodman and Tommy Dorsey into the same lineup. Gene Krupa is playing drums on lots of the tracks here, and you can hear him beginning to show off the aggressiveness that would bring his name and instrument to the fore. There are also five cuts from the same 1928-1929 period credited to Benny Goodman's Boys, one of which ("Room 1411") features Goodman on baritone sax, another ("Blue") on alto sax, and another ("Jungle Blues") on cornet. The audio quality ranges from good to excellent, and puts some legitimate Goodman 1930s re-releases by major labels to shame.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:47
2 3:24
3
feat: Ben Pollack
3:12
4 2:53
5 2:49
6 2:39
7 3:15
8 3:14
9 3:07
10 3:01
11 3:03
12
feat: Ted Lewis
3:11
13
feat: Irving Mills
3:01
14 3:07
15 3:08
16 3:20
17 2:51
18 2:30
19 3:13
20 2:39
21 2:53
22 2:58
23 3:14
24 2:56
blue highlight denotes track pick