Benny Goodman: Avalon
Benny Goodman Quartet
The Very Best of Benny Goodman (RCA 63730)
Composed by Buddy DeSylva, Al Jolson & Vincent Rose.
Recorded: Hollywood, July 30, 1937
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Photo by Herb Snitzer
In Hollywood's sappy biopic The Benny Goodman Story (1955), B.G. finds Lionel Hampton toiling as a musical waiter in an L.A. cafť, when actually Hamp was an established jazzman, having recorded with Louis Armstrong in 1930. Whatever . . . Bennyóby 1936 America's most popular bandleaderódid spotlight a major talent. Plus, by adding Hamp to his racially integrated combo, Goodman struck a blow for equality as resounding as Hamp's exuberant solos. "Avalon" is vintage B.G. Quartet, as bright and breezy as a springtime excursion to Catalina, and incidentally inspiring the Star Wars "Cantina Band." May the Force be with the Benny Goodman Quartet.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz