Picks and Pans Review: The Complete Benny Goodman Vol. Vi: 1938

UPDATED 07/14/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/14/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT

Benny Goodman

After the Carnegie Hall concert in January 1938, the Goodman orchestra went through some uncertain months. For one thing, drummer Gene Krupa quit to start his own band that February. So this two-LP set, the latest in the gratifying RCA-Bluebird reissue series, contains few of the Goodman classics. It does, however, provide a good selection of minor songs, including that paean to foolishness, Flat Foot Floogee. Such tunes are of interest primarily to Goodman devotees. An October 12 session by the trio and quartet, however, produced four tunes any jazz fan should admire—Opus½, I Must Have That Man, Sweet Georgia Brown and 'S Wonderful. Drummer Davey Tough and Lionel Hampton (playing both vibes and drums) were in excellent form, pianist Teddy Wilson performed with extraordinary precision, while Goodman himself, a bit more restrained than usual, took a lyrical, fluid approach to Georgia Brown. It's one of his finest solos.

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