Personnel: Benny Goodman (vocals, clarinet); Martha Tilton (vocals); Hymie Schertzer, Johnny Hodges (soprano & alto saxophones); Lester Young (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone); George Koenig, Art Rollini, Babe Russin (reeds); Ziggy Elman, Chris Griffin, Harry James, Cootie Williams, Buck Clayton (trumpet); Bobby Hackett (cornet); Red Ballard, Vernon Brown (trombone); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone); Jess Stacy, Teddy Wilson, Count Basie (piano); Alan Reuss, Freddie Greene (gyuitar); Harry Goodman, Walter Page (bass); Gene Krupa (drums).
Producer: Albert Marx.
Reissue producer: Phil Schaap.
Recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York on January 16, 1938. Includes liner notes by Phil Schaap and Turk Van Lake.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using 20-Bit technology.
The Benny Goodman Orchestra was in top form when this concert was performed on January 16th, 1938. But this is more than just a concert; this date is significant because it represents the first time a jazz ensemble ever played in a concert hall.
The full Goodman orchestra is featured on many tracks of this two-disc set. Goodman also splits up the evening with some performances by his trio and quartet. Additionally, he gives a 20-year retrospective of jazz, highlighting the Dixieland sound and innovators such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and others. (On "Blue Reverie," some of Ellington's musicians even sit in with Goodman.) Highlights include "Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing)," a classic tune that helped to define the Swing Era itself. This piece features the charismatic drummer Gene Krupa, whose tom-tom rhythms convey a kind of "jungle feel," as the brass figures mimic the call of elephants. On "Avalon," another Goodman favorite, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton really shines. His meticulous arpeggiated runs up and down the vibes are just as exciting today as they must have been in 1938. LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL 1938 is truly a jazz milestone.
Down Beat (6/00, pp.76-7) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...An instant, precedent-setting legend....an astonishing assembly of the period's greatest modern players, all at their height, in a vigorous and sustained concert performance....produced with original cover art and an unforgiving ear for integrity..."
JazzTimes (5/00, pp.128-32) - "...Proclaimed as being the most significant concert in jazz history....Outstanding....this concert belongs in every historically-minded jazz fan's collection..."