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On the Air 1937 - 1938 Live

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, April 6, 1993
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$47.91 + $3.99 shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Harold Smith Collectibles.


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2 CD's

Amazon.com

Without question, high-octane swing was the rock & roll of the 1930s. Listening to these radio shots recorded live by Goodman's 1937-1938 orchestra (his best) and small group (also his best), one is immediately struck by the lighthearted urgency of the players as well as the animated response of the crowd. At this stage in jazz's development, the interaction between audience and artist was vital (only later to be cooled by bebop), and Goodman's band consistently delights and electrifies the crowds. With Gene Krupa providing the heavy backbeats and the band turning up the heat behind Goodman, the music here has a vigorous "rock" quality that goes beyond mere dance music: it almost seems at times that the band is purposely trying to incite and inspire, very "rock-oriented" goals. And the trio and quartet? Simply incredible, mischievous and mirthful, yet absolutely flawless. This two-CD set (complete with a few rarities) is a thrilling snapshot of Goodman's bands in action, energizing and entertaining, more concerned with execution than innovation. Considering Goodman's reputation as a meticulous perfectionist and the bands' acute familiarity with most of these tunes, the spontaneity and spark of these cuts are amazing. Both Goodman and his fast-rising trumpeter Harry James never fail to take things to the next level either. --Marc Greilsamer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: April 6, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000286L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This 2-CD set derives from a 2-LP set that was one of Columbia's earliest such sets--a follow-up to the phenomenally-successfull Carnegie Hall 2-record set issued in 1950. This CD release differs from the vinyl version by adding about six new tunes, only one of which in my view is worth it (Bumblebee Stomp), and--and this is truly horrible--cutting dubbed applause into and over the beginning of each number! The original LP went from tune to tune connected by applause, to give the illusion of a continous concert like the Carnegie set. It also gave the album an uninterrupted flow. For the CD they *fade down between tracks,* but then overdub fake NEW applause at the beginning of each new track! For no reason I can think of, other than perhaps the reissue producer-artiste felt he had to earn his album credit and justify his job. If they'd just taken the original LP version and dubbed it straight to CD they'd have a better product. The remaster itself is poor--muffled and indistinct compared to the original vinyl. Surely this was to eliminate what little crackle there was--these recordings sounded great--but the result is a smothered sound. And the added cuts are at a different volume level (louder) than the existing material. If there is a worse way to make an album I can't think of it. Sony should truly be ashamed. This is what they've done with Columbia's legacy?
But what about the performances? These were mostly recorded in the mid-late 30s by a young enthusiast named Bill Saveroy, who later became an engineer at Columbia and a friend to Goodman.
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3 Comments 26 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
If you've ever wondered what the excitement over great Goodman band of 1937-38 was all about, check out this collection of airchecks culled from those years. Included are flagwavers, ballads, trios, quartets, big hits and rare gems. From the roars that greet Harry James' four-bar blasts in "Ridin' High," to the spine-tingling rideout on "Roll 'Em" this two-disc set presents the Goodman Orchestra at its zenith.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
All I can say is WOW! Experiencing Benny Goodman live in his glory years must have been an unforgettable experience. This two-disc compilation boasts wonderful sound quality, rippling excitement and in many cases, tracks that are superior to the released studio version. King Porter's Stomp live is incredible. Listen to Harry James' driving trumpet solo and Benny's clarinet solo, much different than the standard version.
What a marvelous collection this is, showcasing Benny's band at their apex and swinging more than they ever did afterward. Many of his greatest swing classics are included and the live versions absolutely mesmerize you. Listen to Bugle Call Rag, one of Goodman's brilliant and swingiest standards. The arrangement and instrumentation here are awesome. This is a song you can listen to 1,000 times and never weary of it.
If you are just beginning to sample Benny Goodman, this is a good place to begin. This set would serve as a worthy introduction to the King of Swing in his glory years.
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
In the early 50's I first purchased Benny Goodman's famous "Carnegie Hall Concert" and shortly after the follow-up, "Jazz Concert No 2". (Since 1993 also on the above, extended CD-album). Ever since I have regarded "No 2" as being Number One. There are one or two reasons for that, mainly the fact that "No 2" was produced from "airchecks" of late evening broadcasts from all over the United States. Therefore, the producer frequently had a number of versions of the same tune to choose from. Think of that! Scrapping a good version for an even better one, or for a unique one. No wonder it's so good! In his liner notes in the original LP-album, George Avakian wrote: "The fantastic success of the Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert album was one of those things which could happen only once in a lifetime. We hardly expected it to happen again. But it did. And it's even better!" I fully agree! And, contrary to the new CD-version of the Carnegie Hall Concert, there are no pops, hisses or crackles on this one (except for the closing number "Goodbye", 1 min. 6 sec., which I think is bearable.
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Format: Audio CD
You know you're in trouble when the liner notes of a SONY reissue contain disclaimers as to the quality of the source material, in this case spliced and worn tapes used for the original mid-50s lp version of this album (so the original acetates are decayed? missing? or Sony couldn't be bothered to track them down?). The results, as another reviewer accurately states, sound inferior to the vinyl pressings of the album relesed as "1937-1938 Jazz Concert" which was in print for many years and is not hard to find, hence a 4-star rating instead of the five stars merited by the performances.
The music is monumental. If you can only buy one Goodman collection, this is the one to have, even more so than the Carnegie Hall set which has its moments but is overall less exciting (and miserably remastered on the current CD incarnation). If you love swing and you can't find or play the vinyl edition, get this set and petition Sony/BMG to remaster it properly (even if they have to use a mint vinyl copy of the original lp... it's been done!).
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