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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jazz for a Lazy Sunday Afternoon



One of the finest jazz musicians ever, Benny Goodman's clarinet took jazz from the backstreet speakeasies to Carnegie Hall.  His 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, featuring his orchestra, trio, and quartet, is still hailed as the greatest jazz concert ever.

The Goodman Quartet featured Benny Goodman on clarinet, Gene Krupa on drums, Lionel Hampton on vibes, and my all time favorite jazz pianist, Teddy Wilson.

Goodman took the long way around to get to the top.  Born into an impoverished Russian, Jewish, immigrant family, Benny was the ninth of twelve children.  HIs got his first music lessons in a synagogue.  At the age of 16, he joined Ben Pollack's jazz orchestra.  Pollack's eye for talent led him to hire, in addition to Goodman, such future jazz greats as Jack Teagarden, Glen Miller, and Harry James, all of whom went on to form their own orchestras. 

The Goodman Quartet, featured on this recording, brought together Benny Goodman on clarinet, Gene Krupa on drums, Lionel Hampton on vibes, and my all time favorite jazz pianist, Teddy Wilson.  Very tough to beat that combo!



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