Benny Carter

Melancholy Benny

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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

The Benny Carter big band of 1939-41 was not a huge commercial success but musically this outfit could compete with practically anyone else. Carter (doubling on alto and trumpet) contributed the many colorful arrangements and quite a few compositions as can be heard in this reissue LP that contains three complete studio sessions and a radio broadcast from 1939-40. Other soloists include trumpeter Joe Thomas, trombonist Vic Dickenson, pianist Eddie Heywood and, on one session, the great tenor Coleman Hawkins. Recommended to those Benny Carter collectors who do not have this excellent music yet on CD, the broadcast is particularly rare.