Benny Goodman

Yale University Archives, Vol. 1: 1955-1986

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In his will, Benny Goodman gave to Yale not only all of his band arrangements (over 1, 500) but 400 ten-inch master tapes of unreleased studio and concert recordings. Some of the more rewarding sessions have now been issued by Music Masters and this particular box set includes the first five volumes (and a 40-page booklet), six CDs in all (since Volume 5 had two CDs by itself) which are also available separately. The music dates from 1955-84 (the second half of Benny Goodman's career) and is taken from quite a few sessions, including a full CD of material by his excellent septet of 1955 (featuring trumpeter Ruby Braff and Paul Quinichette on tenor), big-band performances from 1958 with several vocals by Jimmy Rushing and many selections from a 1959 engagement with a nonet featuring trumpeter Jack Sheldon, trombonist Bill Harris and tenorman Flip Phillips. Although no longer a pacesetter, Benny Goodman remained one of the jazz world's most brilliant performers, making this set well worth acquiring.

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