[Dixielandjazz] NY Times Jazz Review

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 4 11:10:57 PDT 2003

Here's an interesting read for Goodman lovers. For me, the first and
last sentences of this review say it all.

Steve Barbone

August 4, 2003 New York Times

Swinging to the Early Years of Benny Goodman


      Benny Goodman was thoroughly mass culture. If that was not obvious
from the style of the musicians during "Early Benny," a concert Tuesday
in the 92nd Street Y's annual "Jazz in July" series, it certainly was
from the crowd's reactions.

Tackling most of the early Goodman music was Vince Giordano and the
Nighthawks, a band that replicates recordings by the hot and sweet bands

of the old days; they represent studious obsession. But when the
sold-out, almost entirely elderly crowd emitted a churchy mmmm at the
mention of
"Bugle Call Rag," then you knew you were in the presence of something
much larger than a special-interest group.

Mr. Giordano and his 11-piece band re-enacted early records that
included Goodman, when he was a teenage member of Ben Pollack's band and

others. In one case the musician in the Goodman role, the clarinetist
Dan Levinson, found two takes of the same song and transcribed Goodman's

solos from each to create a two-chorus solo. Arnie Kinsella, the band's
drummer, was especially enjoyable to watch: it was his job to create the

variety of archaic choked-cymbal sounds that dot early swing. There were
a few fascinating film clips, too: Goodman as a member of Pollack's
all-white band in 1929, with Pollack looming seductively before the
camera eye, glibly purring "and now we're going to play our
version of `My Kinda Love.' "

In the concert's second half, a quintet played some of Goodman's much
more mature small-group recordings. This was the band with Teddy
Wilson, Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa; their music smoked with voltage,
and few re-creations of it will do. A quintet — Allan Vaché on clarinet,
Dick Hyman on piano, Peter Appleyard on vibraphone, Sean Smith on bass
and Winard Harper on drums — gave a game try to tunes like "Seven Come
Eleven" and "The Man I Love." Mr. Hyman, the director of the concert
series, plays with impeccable time; even and precise, he gave the group
a subtle shove. Mr. Vaché got off some powerful high-register playing,
and Mr. Harper had the sense to made his own kind of ruckus without
ransacking Krupa's bag of tricks. But it was all merely amiable, where
the originals are giddy with power.

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