Benny Goodman: Peckin'




Benny Goodman (clarinet)


The Harry James Years, Vol. 1 (RCA/Bluebird 07863661552)

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Benny Goodman (clarinet), Harry James (trumpet), Gene Krupa (drums),

Ziggy Elman, Chris Griffin (trumpets), Red Ballard, Murray McEachern (trombones), Hymie Schertzer, George Koenig (alto saxes), Arthur Rollini, Vido Musso (tenor saxes), Jess Stacy (piano), Allan Reuss (guitar), Harry Goodman (bass)


Composed by Harry James & Ben Pollack; arranged by Harry James


Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, July 6, 1937


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Harry James got his first big break when he joined the Benny Goodman organization in January 1937. Benny's brother Harry had discovered the trumpet wizard working in Ben Pollack's band, which served as the Swing Era's farm club. Among the jazz greats sent up to the majors from that band were Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland and the Goodman brothers themselves. While James had previously recorded "Peckin'" for Pollack, this version has all the classic touches of the Goodman band at the height of its powers. The spry arrangement is James's, and his solo is packed with the sort of creativity that he would exhibit for much of his career, even when playing more mundane material. Goodman's break displays his usual infectious, rhythmically playful modus operandi, and that's a serious thing!

Reviewer: Frank Murphy

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