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Swing Favourites, Vol. 1: 1935-1936: Swing Me a Swing Song – Benny Goodman

Swing Favourites, Vol. 1: 1935-1936: Swing Me a Swing Song - Benny Goodman Artist: Benny Goodman
Album: Swing Favourites, Vol. 1: 1935-1936: Swing Me a Swing Song
Release Date: March 19, 2002
Duration: 01:01:37
Genre: Jazz
Styles: Big Band, Sweet Bands, Swing
Recording Date: April 19, 1935 – November 5, 1936

With RCA Victor having already issued their complete swing-era Benny Goodman archive on LP, cassette, and CD numerous times, it doesn’t appear that Naxos’ Goodman project is going to be as ambitious, for the first volume putters and skips around through eight sessions from the band’s early years. Nevertheless, this is not a bad choice if you’re looking for a single-disc selection of Goodman’s earliest Victor big band sides, from his first sessions as the leader of a struggling swing band trying to stay afloat until a little over a year after his breakthrough at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. There are plenty of famous swingers like “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” “Swingtime in the Rockies,” “King Porter Stomp,” and the original rendition of “Christopher Columbus,” which is slower and more lumbering than the best-known versions and shorn of its “sing sing sing” first section. There are also a handful of vocals by Helen Ward and to close, the young Ella Fitzgerald doing a guest turn with the band on “Goodnight, My Love.” And of course, perfectionist Goodman is always in impeccable form on his clarinet.

The sound on the CD is a little wan and washed out in comparison with a few of the original 78s, not quite up to Naxos’ high jazz standards. But even less-than-optimum Naxos sound is preferable to the abominations that came out of RCA in the CD era (RCA’s earlier Goodman reissues on LP are better).

Title/Composer Performer Time
Blue Skies / Irving Berlin Benny Goodman 3:43
Dear Old Southland / Henry Creamer / Turner Layton Benny Goodman 2:26
King Porter Stomp / Jelly Roll Morton Benny Goodman 3:19
Ballad in Blue / Hoagy Carmichael / Irving Kahal Benny Goodman 2:48
Christopher Columbus / Chu Berry / Leon Berry / Andy Razaf Benny Goodman 3:44
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea / Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler Benny Goodman 2:56
Madhouse / Earl Hines / Jimmy Mundy Benny Goodman 2:59
If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) / Henry Creamer / James P. Johnson Benny Goodman 2:23
Stompin’ at the Savoy / Benny Goodman / Andy Razaf / Edgar Sampson / Chick Webb Benny Goodman feat: Benny Goodman & His Orchestra 3:25
There’s a Small Hotel / Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers Benny Goodman 2:38
Swingtime in the Rockies / Benny Goodman / Jimmy Mundy Benny Goodman 3:23
Pick Yourself Up / Dorothy Fields / Jerome Kern Benny Goodman 2:55
Always / Irving Berlin Benny Goodman 2:51
In a Sentimental Mood / Duke Ellington / Manny Kurtz / Irving Mills Benny Goodman 3:49
Sing Me a Swing Song (And Let Me Dance) / Stanley Adams / Hoagy Carmichael Benny Goodman 2:32
Alexander’s Ragtime Band / Irving Berlin Benny Goodman 2:15
St. Louis Blues / W.C. Handy Benny Goodman 3:31
Love Me or Leave Me / Walter Donaldson / Gus Kahn Benny Goodman 3:48
House Hop / Benny Goodman / Jimmy Mundy Benny Goodman 2:36
Goodnight My Love / Mack Gordon / Harry Revel Benny Goodman 3:23
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