Benny Goodman

The Indispensable Benny Goodman, Vol. 5-6

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Here's a delightful double-disc set chronicling all the important recordings Goodman made with his big band in 1938 and 1939, the last two years of his contract with RCA Victor Records. Swing had just hit its stride, and Goodman was coming off the twin mainstream blows of his appearance in the movie Hollywood Hotel and his triumphant appearance at Carnegie Hall, when the first of these recordings were made. The first session, which features "Don't Be That Way" and "One O'Clock Jump," is also the last with Gene Krupa in the band, soon to be replaced temporarily by Lionel Hampton, who would sub on and off between stints by Dave Tough and Buddy Schutz for the remainder of these dates. Within this same time frame, Harry James would also leave, as would the newly arrived Bud Freeman. These are the recordings of a band in transition, still making wonderful music but nonetheless hitting the peak of the swing music era. Like the other volumes in this series, the transfers are immaculate, and the liner notes are informative without being fusty.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:21
2 3:15
3 3:20
4 2:35
5
3:02
6 3:17
7 2:51
8 2:53
9 3:45
10 2:21
11 3:26
12 2:33
13 2:32
14 3:05
15 3:03
16 3:20

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:11
2 2:22
3 2:52
4 2:58
5 2:58
6 2:26
7 2:11
8 2:49
9 2:42
10 2:47
11 2:43
12 3:05
13 3:00
14 3:12
15 3:07
16 2:49
17 3:03
blue highlight denotes track pick