Tuesday, July 25, 2006


More Benny Airchecks

In answer to the request for more of the MGM Benny Goodman airchecks, here is Volume 3. Wait, where is volume 2? Certainly not in the LP jacket that said Volume 2... I was encoding these up the other night and tried to follow the tune list on the jacket, and things weren't synching up... so I looks on the label and it says "Volume 3". Sigh. And, no I haven't been back to the thrift store to see if they have a Volume 3 jacket with Volume 2 in it. And I really really need to because there is some stuff on Volume 2 that is supposedly rare.

On the jacket liner notes for Volume 2, there is the story as to how these recordings came to be. Apparently, Benny, when he was going to try something new, such as a new chart, or a new voicing on a current arrangement, would have records cut of the performance of the tune, so he could review them over his late breakfast the next day. Somehow, these survived, and MGM got their paws on them. They released 3 LPs (that I know of) of selected discs, and, voila! They could have done without the crossfading bit though...

These discs, for the most part, came from the "Camel Cavalcade" program, and, as one commentor stated, showed a very different side to Benny's playing than what was done in the studio. THere is a TON more energy on thiese sides, and you can hear Benny & the boys laughing and cutting up in some of these tracks. They sound like they were having an absolute blast, which is (as a musician, myself agrees) the best space to be in when performing.

I wonder if any effort was made to get ALL of these discs together and some kind of box set made up... there'd definately be some demand for it, especially if these haven't seen the light of day for some time...

Anyway, while you're pondering the ramifications of this, enjoy the 3rd LP in the set, while I scamper off to the thrift store to see if they still have volume 2.

BG Performance Records, Volume 3

Coming up, Artie Shaw 2 LP live set.

I believe all the Camel Caravan airchecks were released on CD about 10 years ago. I don't know if they're still in print, but listening to those you've posted I sure hope so. I can't wait for the Artie Shaw Live stuff. If it's the album I remember from my youth, there's a version of "Carioca" that swings so hard you may need oxygen.
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