Benny Goodman: Sing, Sing, Sing – as heard in Woody Allen's New York Stories (1989), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) and Deconstructing Harry (1997)

Track

Sing, Sing, Sing

Artist

Benny Goodman (clarinet)

CD

Sing, Sing, Sing (Bluebird RCA 5630)

Buy Track

Musicians:

Benny Goodman (clarinet),

leading a 14-piece band featuring Harry James (trumpet), Ziggy Elman (trumpet), Hymie Schertzer (alto sax), Gene Krupa (drums)

.

Composed by Louis Prima. Arranged by Jimmy Mundy

.

Recorded: Hollywood, July 6, 1937

Albumcoverbennygoodman-singsingsing

Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Immensely popular in its day, "Sing, Sing, Sing" is the nadir of white jungle music. Not to be confused with the 1990s electronic drum-&-bass dance genre, jungle music in jazz has racist connotations. During long runs at such dubiously named Prohibition-era Manhattan nightspots as the Plantation Club and Cotton Club, Duke Ellington's nonpareil orchestra—ignominiously billed as The Jungle Band—entertained white patrons in jungle-themed floor shows with light-skinned Negro female dancers in loin cloths. "Sing, Sing, Sing" updates this foolishness to the Swing Era, and compounds the insult by being performed entirely by white men. Cringe, cringe, cringe at our ancestors' naïveté.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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  • 1 Paul Osborn // Jan 03, 2009 at 08:53 AM
    "... and compounds the insult by being performed entirely by white men. Cringe, cringe, cringe at our ancestors' naïveté." I don't know where to begin. First, speak for YOUR ancestors only. Leave mine out of it. Second, the possibility that the music was performed [gasp!] "entirely by white men" automatically makes its performance "foolishness" and an "insult"? I don't listen to music and check the ethnicity and sex of the musicians before rendering a "cringe" judgement. Finally, in the interest of brevity, what evolutionary development occurred in the last 60+ years that would make someone believe that people are so much more sophisticated and aware now? Perhaps, some people must believe THEY are more sophisticated and aware than others.