Top Artists – Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman – Benny Goodman Combos

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  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side two and a better than Double Plus (A++ to A+++) side one, this copy of Benny Goodman’s 1951 release is practically as good as it gets
  • Rich, smooth, tonally correct, spacious (for mono), this collection of older recordings was compiled and transferred with consummate skill, ensuring that the highest fidelity was maintained – this pressing sounds right
  • Lively performances from Goodman and his bandmates in their prime
  • “Within this collection, there is a continuing variation in instrumentation that changes the mood and approach with refreshing results… yet there is a truly marvelous similarity of thought and execution and a pleasingly lofty standard throughout.”

We’ve dropped the needle on a number of Goodman vintage mono records over the years but I don’t recall ever hearing one sound like this. Turn it up to hear Benny and his crew playing the hell out of this group of tunes.

On side two listen for the wonderful electric guitar tone, I think on the first track if my notes are correct. Great sound for this era. By the second track on side two the sound is clear and rich. (more…)

Benny Goodman / The Benny Goodman Story – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

This is a SUPERB SOUNDING Benny Goodman Mono album from 1955, here reissued with, in some ways, even better sound. Benny Goodman still had it in 1955, and he and his band really punch some life into this music that they had been playing for 20 years. The Capitol engineers really capture the power of his band, with correct tonality throughout. The originals (which are very hard to find) have a little more midrange magic but less punch. Each is good in its own way. This may be a reissue but it’s a damn fine one.

Out of the half dozen copies we listened to, this is the second best sounding. It’s a little smoother and easier on the ears. 

One interesting quality to practically every copy is the fact that the first bit of brass at the opening of side one sounds smeared, but quickly the transients come into the picture and restore the correctness of the brass. I have no idea why that should be; it must be on the tape.

Benny Goodman / The King – Not Recommended

More Reviews of Century Direct to Disc Records

This is a Century Direct-to-Disc LP that is every bit as good sounding as the excellent Glenn Miller disc, and in some ways better.

The problem is that Benny sounds much too old and tired, so this one gets a Not Recommended ranking from us.

Benny Goodman – Benny Goodman Swings Again

  • Benny Goodman Swings Again makes its Hot Stamper debut with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound throughout – exceptionally QUIET vinyl too 
  • This Columbia Six Eye stereo pressing was hard to fault – big, open, clear, with space and three-dimensionality that modern pressings can only dream of
  • On a live recording such as this, the transparency of this All Analog recording has the power to transport you to the front row of Ciro’s in West Hollywood – what a thrill!
  • “With a particularly strong lineup that includes vibraphonist Red Norvo, tenorman Flip Phillips and trumpeter Jack Sheldon, this out-of-print LP features Benny Goodman at his best (even if the swing era had supposedly ended 15 years earlier).”

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