Benny Goodman

Made in Japan

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One could not blame Benny Goodman for getting a bit bored by the mid-'60s. He had achieved astonishing success by 1935 when he just 26 and with the passing of the big-band era a decade later, he was no longer a pacesetter in jazz. Despite possessing a fully-formed style, BG led many high-quality groups through the years and continued playing creatively within the swing tradition, but the LP Made in Japan is merely a lukewarm affair. Backed by a supportive but faceless rhythm section and limiting the length of the performances (only two exceed four minutes, and three are less than half as long), Goodman plays passable but unmemorable versions of swing standards like "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Dinah." It's worth acquiring at a budget price but otherwise there are many far superior Benny Goodman CDs currently available.