Benny Goodman

The Essential Benny Goodman

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Though his was not the "first" big band of the Swing era (approximately 1934-1946), clarinetist/leader Benny Goodman certainly earned his title as the "King of Swing." By combining a knack for picking the best musicians (including Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, and Charlie Christian) and an approach to jazz that was both sweetly tuneful and vigorously swinging, Goodman led (extremely popular) bands (big and small) that defined an era. This Goodman installment of the excellent ESSENTIAL compilation series brings together 40 tracks over 2 discs from this seminal American musician. It's one of the finest introductions to Goodman available, not to mention a perfect overview for long-time fans.