Benny Goodman

Plays Mel Powell

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The title of this Hep CD compilation is somewhat of a misnomer, as Benny Goodman plays the works of a number of arrangers, in addition to the 13 charts by pianist Mel Powell. The music is drawn from Columbia studio sessions recorded between 1941 and 1946, so there is a great variation in personnel. Few of the tracks having been issued during the CD era prior to this release and the sound quality is excellent, while their relative rarity will appeal to Goodman collectors. Powell's contributions include the drummerless but swinging "The Count" and the equally buoyant "The Earl," which features some terrific stride piano by Powell. His scoring of "Why Don't You Do Right" helped launch the career of the young singer Peggy Lee. Aside from Powell's work, Margie Gibson, a young Hindu emigrant from Calcutta, wrote the amusing "Let the Doorknob Hitcha" (showcasing trumpeter Cootie Williams' vocals) and the peppy "Take It." Also in this collection are valuable arrangements by Buster Harding, Skip Martin, Jimmy Mundy, and Edgar Sampson. Goodman is in top form throughout this anthology, while his orchestra is obviously well rehearsed on each of the 23 separate sessions.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:34 Amazon
2 3:01 Amazon
3 3:07 Amazon
4 3:12 Amazon
5 3:12 Amazon
6 3:11 Amazon
7 2:58 Amazon
8 3:29 Amazon
9 3:14 Amazon
10 2:35 Amazon
11 2:48 Amazon
12 2:53 Amazon
13 3:25 Amazon
14 2:25 Amazon
15 2:55 Amazon
16 2:58 Amazon
17 2:57 Amazon
18 3:13 Amazon
19 2:37 Amazon
20 2:40 Amazon
21 3:09 Amazon
22 3:03 Amazon
23 7:56 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick