Benny Goodman's Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz)

By Catherine Tackley

On January sixteen, 1938 Benny Goodman introduced his swing orchestra to America's honored domestic of ecu classical tune, Carnegie corridor. The ensuing live performance - broadly one in every of the main major occasions in American song historical past - helped to usher jazz and swing tune into the yankee cultural mainstream. This popularity has been perpetuated via Columbia files' 1950 free up of the live performance on LP. Now, in Benny Goodman's recognized 1938 Carnegie corridor Jazz live performance, jazz pupil and musician Catherine Tackley offers the 1st intensive, scholarly research of this seminal live performance and recording.
Combining rigorous documentary and archival study with shut research of the recording, Tackley strips again the accrued layers of interpretation and intending to verify the functionality in its unique context, and discover what the cloth has come to symbolize in its recorded shape. Taking a whole view of the live performance, she examines the wealthy cultural atmosphere during which it happened, and analyzes the compositions, preparations and performances themselves, prior to discussing the instant reception, and lasting legacy and impression of this storied occasion and album. because the definitive learn of 1 of an important recordings of the twentieth-century, Benny Goodman's recognized 1938 Carnegie corridor Jazz live performance is a must-read for all severe jazz lovers, musicians and scholars.

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Regardless of the undoubted significance of the Congress live performance within the improvement of racially built-in jazz performances, this association truly served to focus on not just racial but in addition musical distinction. against this with the whole orchestra, the presentation of the Trio in a focus emphasised the intimacy one of the 3 musicians and in addition with the viewers, because the staff used to be situated at the comparable point instead of increased and distanced via a degree. This looked like Goodman and Krupa enjoying informally with a black musician, which used to be not just extra socially applicable but in addition commensurate with Rhythm membership individuals’ romanticized notions of the jam consultation as real jazz functionality. This pre-dated and expected the recognition of the general public jam consultation, however the similarity among this kind of jazz functionality and Goodman’s small teams used to be highlighted in Kolodin’s software notes for the Carnegie corridor live performance. (1938b: 201). even supposing the Trio was once no longer technically a “band inside of a band” as Schuller indicates, it induced a development for small teams drawn from large bands, which allowed extra expansive demonstration of the jazz credentials of musicians, reside and on checklist, which attracted various audiences (Firestone 1993: 139). The intimacy of the Trio used to be additionally vital to Goodman, who wrote in his autobiography: What I received out of fiddling with Teddy was once whatever, in a jazz approach, like what I bought from fidgeting with the string quartet within the Mozart. It was once whatever various than twiddling with the band, regardless of how good it would be swinging, simply because the following every thing was once shut and intimate, with one fellow’s principles mixing correct in with the other’s, and every people getting a boost from what the opposite one used to be doing [Goodman and Kolodin 1939: 186]. Given this measure of musical delight, the choice so as to add the vibraphonist Lionel Hampton to shape a Quartet in August 1936 may appear unusual. The Trio was once already a non-standard mixture of tools 22 b e n n y g o od ma n’s well-known 1938 carnegie ha ll ja z z c onc ert (which Goodman had used as soon as earlier than in 1928; it's also represented on a few Jelly Roll Morton recordings from round the similar date), and addition of the vibraphone, which formerly were used more often than not for infrequent colour in dance band preparations, supplied yet another strange function. Hampton additionally introduced an extrovert size to the gang that used to be no longer quite represented by way of Goodman, Wilson, or perhaps Krupa’s performances, which tended to be restricted via the smallgroup layout. yet notably, a gaggle numbering black and white musicians both was once a fair extra specific demonstration of racial equality. The addition of Hampton was once back encouraged by way of Hammond who “discovered” him “leading an 8 piece team on the Paradise Café, on major road, a crummy element of downtown la” (Hammond and Townsend 1977: 175). As with the Trio, the casual surroundings of the jam consultation speedy led to a recording, as Hampton stated in his autobiography: [Goodman] acquired up at the bandstand with me, pulled his clarinet out of his case, and we began to jam.

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