Benny Goodman

Undercurrent Blues [Capitol]

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Undercurrent Blues [Capitol] Review

by Scott Yanow

During 1947-49 on an irregular basis, clarinetist Benny Goodman's band recorded bebop for Capitol before he permanently switched back to swing in 1950. All of BG's small group recordings from this period have been reissued on a Mosaic set and five are duplicated on this single CD but there are also four previously unissued big-band performances along with six others on this recommended reissue. Goodman and his band interpret a pair of Mary Lou Williams originals and other highlights include "Stealin' Apples" (a septet track with trumpeter Fats Navarro), "Bop-Hop," "Dreazag," "Bedlam" and "Blue Lou." Key soloists include trumpeter Doug Mettome, Wardell Gray on tenor and pianist Buddy Greco while Chico O'Farrill provided most of the big-band charts. It is very interesting to hear the great swing clarinetist adapting to the new music.

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