Saturday, August 15, 2009

The King of Swing

Little known factoid about moi: I am an avid fan of jazz. I even subscribe to Downbeat Magazine in its original form, you know, ink on paper, it arrives in the mail once a month.
In the 75th (!!) anniversary issue there is, among many archived articles, a series on the King of Swing: Benjamin David Goodman aka Benny Goodman. He was the 9th child out of 12, born to Jewish-Russian immigrants. Goodman's career spanned the 20th century. Even when the heyday of swing was over, Goodman filled venues with his phenomenal music. Goodman was also one of the first to lead integrated bands (in the 1930's!!!) when such a thing was unheard of.

Here is Goodman's most famous big band in the movie "Hollywood Hotel" playing "Sing, Sing, Sing". If this doesn't get your foot 'atappin, you should check yourself for a pulse.

For those with more stamina here is a fascinating 9 minute version,
again with Harry James on trumpet and Gene Krupa on the drums.
I don't know who is playing the tenor sax.
I love this version for the crackle of the old vinyl records.

Here on "Moonglow" the old master is at his best
playing the clarinet as if praying.
He is surrounded by other masters:
Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton.

This version of "Body and Soul" is a masterpiece.


rutimizrachi said...

From a drummer's perspective (even if it's only a dumbek, instead of a trap set), Gene Krupa is THE MAN. Thanks for starting my yom rishon on a high note.

SeaSpray said...

These were great. I meant to comment. I played them repeatedly one afternoon while I was cleaning in this room. Reminds me of my mother and her era.

i didn't appreciate this music when I was a teenager.. but have long since enjoyed it. :)

thanks for sharing it. :)

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