Sunday, January 20, 2013

Benny Goodman
"The Small Groups" (CD)

Highlighting music recorded between 1935-1944, this CD compilation highlights the different small quartet and quintet ensembles that Benny Goodman helmed.

For the era, these are notable for being racial de-segregated and gave musicians like Count Basie and Lionel Hampton and Cootie Williams exposure to a wider jazz audience. 

These small groups are regarded by some to be the best ensembles that Goodman worked with.  Other musicians accompanying Goodman on this album include Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson and Charlie Christian.

The CD packaging (released by Living Era) gives a decidedly archival feel; there's nothing terribly sexy about its curb appeal.  I feels like it was designed for use in college music appreciation courses.

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