Various Artists

The Stereophonic Sound of Benny Goodman

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Arranger Maxwell Davis evidently was a busy man in the late '50s and early '60s, recording a series of tributes to various big-band leaders while incorporating a sprinkling of alumni for each honoree's band among the studio musicians hired for the gig. The 1958 sessions that produced The Stereophonic Sound of Benny Goodman, a salute to the clarinetist, have more than their share of alumni from his various bands, including well-known players such as pianist Jess Stacy, guitarist Allan Reuss (whose name is misspelled "Ruess"), tenor saxophonist Vido Musso, as well as the likes of Irving Goodman (trumpet), Murray McEachren (trombone), Jimmy Rowles (piano), and Babe Russin (tenor sax), each of whom also spent time with Goodman. Like most tribute albums, this effort never rises above lukewarm, for several reasons. Subbing for Goodman on clarinet is Mahlon Clark, who is clearly not in the same league on the instrument. Drummer Nick Fatool, though he is a Goodman alum, fails to approach the excitement of Gene Krupa's historic solo in "Sing, Sing, Sing." First issued by Crown and re-released by Bright Orange in the early '70s, this long out of print record will be of little interest to Goodman fans, as his better-known recordings of the nine songs on this disc are readily available.