Benny Goodman – The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (1970)

FrontCover1The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert by Benny Goodman, Columbia Records catalogue item SL-160, is a two-disc LP of Swing music first issued in 1950. The program it captured has been described as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s “coming out” party to the world of “respectable” music.”[2]The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert by Benny Goodman, Columbia Records catalogue item SL-160, is a two-disc LP of Swing music first issued in 1950. The program it captured has been described as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s “coming out” party to the world of “respectable” music.”
The first ever double album,[citation needed] it was one of the first records of Benny Goodman music issued on the new long-playing format, and one of the first to sell over a million copies. A landmark recording, it was the premiere performance given by a jazz orchestra in the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. This album was also sold in a set of nine 45 rpm records in the same year by Columbia.

The reception to the original 1950 long-playing double-album was exceptional, as had been the band’s appearance at Carnegie Hall.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings includes the 1999 release in its “Core Collection,” in addition to giving it a four-star rating (of a possible four). Penguin authors Richard Cook and Brian Morton describe the release as “a model effort, masterminded by Phil Schaap, whose indomitable detective work finally tracked down the original acetates and gave us the music in the best sound we’ll ever get; with powerful, even thrilling, ambience.” (by wikipedia)

Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman’s January 16, 1938, Carnegie Hall concert is considered the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s “coming out” party to the world of “respectable” music, held right in that throne room of musical respectability, Carnegie Hall. The 1950-vintage three-album set from the concert only solidified its reputation, and an earlier CD release derived from the LP master was a choice entry in the Goodman catalog for more than ten years. For the 1999 release, producer Phil Schaap re-sourced the concert from original 78 rpm transcription discs; he has also rescued “Sometimes I’m Happy,” the show’s original second number, and “If Dreams Come True,” its original first encore, along with the unedited version of “Honeysuckle Rose” (with Harry Carney in a two-chorus baritone sax solo and Buck Clayton’s three-chorus trumpet solo), all previously lost. The detail is startling, with soloists who are more up close than ever and even details from the audience reactions. Gene Krupa’s drums have an extraordinary richness of tone, and the whole rhythm section finally gets its due as well, even Freddie Green’s rhythm guitar solo during “Honeysuckle Rose,” which is gloriously enhanced. There will be casual listeners, however, who won’t like this release because Schaap has chosen to leave a lot of surface noise, in the interest of preserving the original concert ambience. Some compromise should have been possible, however, where the worst source damage is concerned, and some casual listeners may prefer the original CD release, despite the enhancements featured here. (by Bruce Eder)

What a line-up  … what a concert !


Red Ballard (trombone)
Count Basie (piano)
Vernon Brown (trombone)
Harry Carney (saxophone)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Benny Goodman (clarinet, vocals)
Harry Goodman (bass)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Ziggy Elman (trumpet)
Chris Griffin (trumpet)
Bobby Hackett (cornet)
Lionel Hampton (vibraphone)
Johnny Hodges (saxophone)
Harry James (trumpet)
George Koenig (reeds)
Gene Krupa (drums)
Walter Page (bass)
Allan Reuss (guitar)
Art Rollini (reeds)
Babe Russin (reeds)
Hymie Schertzer (reeds)
Jess Stacy (piano)
Martha Tilton (vocals)
Cootie Williams (trumpet)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Lester Young (saxophone)


01. Don’t Be That Way (Sampson/B.Goodman/Parish) 4.12
02. One O’Clock Jump (Basie) 6.52
03. Dixieland One Step (Dixieland Jass Band) 1.20
04. I’m Coming Virginia (Cook/Heywood) 2.07
05. When My Baby Smiles At Me (Munro/Sterling/Lewis/v.Tilzer) 0.51
06. Shine (Mack/Dabney/Brown) 1.03
07. Blue Reverie (Ellington/Carney) 3.22
08. Life Goes To A Party (James/B.Goodman) 4.13
09. Honeysuckle Rose (Waller/Razaf) 13.57
10. Body And Soul (Green/Heyman/Sour/Eyton) 3.23
11. Avalon (Rose/DeSylva/Jolson) 4.16
12. The Man I Love (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 3.28
13. I Got Rhythm (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 5.09
14. Blue Skies (Berlin) 3.17
15. Loch Lomond (Traditional) 2.58
16. Blue Room (Rodgers) 5.12
17. Swingtime In The Rockies (Mundy/B.Goodman) 3.27
18. Bei mir bist du schön (Secunda/Jacobs) 0.32
19. China Boy (Winfree/Boutelje) 4.52
20. Stompin’ At The Savoy (Sampson/B.Goodman/Webb) 5.55
21. Dizzy Spells (B.Goodman/Hampton/Wilson) 5.43
22. Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing) (Prima) 10.58
23. Big John’s Special (Henderson) 3.45


Nat Gonella & His New Georgians – Swing All Night (CD 2) (2003)

FrontCover1Nathaniel Charles (Nat) Gonella (7 March 1908 – 6 August 1998) was an English jazz trumpeter, bandleader, vocalist and mellophonist born in London, perhaps most notable for his work with the big band he founded, The Georgians, during the British dance band era.

His vocal style was reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, though the voice was often eclipsed by his achievements as a band leader and trumpeter. Gonella has been a major influence on other British jazz trumpeters, including Humphrey Lyttelton and Digby Fairweather.

NatGonellaGonella was born in a deprived area of east London, and took up cornet while attending an institution for underprivileged children, St Mary’s Guardian School in Islington.

His first professional job arrived when, after a short spell as a furrier’s apprentice, he joined Archie Pitt’s Busby Boy’s Band in 1924, a small junior pit orchestra and touring review band. He remained with the band until 1928, and it was during this period that he became acquainted with the early recordings of Louis Armstrong, and the New Orleans jazz style in general. He transcribed Armstrong’s solos and learned them by heart.

He worked with Bob Bryden’s Louisville Band for a time in 1928-9, and with pianist Archie Alexander in Brighton, then joined the Billy Cotton band at the end of 1929, a move which provided him with a more prominent platform, both on the concert stage and also on radio, and allowed him to record his first jazz solos and vocal features (which included scat singing).
The 1930s

NatGonella1He played briefly with Roy Fox in 1931, and then stayed in that band when Lew Stone, Fox’s former pianist, took over leadership the following year. It was with Stone’s band that he firmly established his reputation.

When Louis Armstrong visited London in 1932, Gonella met his idol by begging the staff at Boosey and Hawkes’s music shop to allow him to deliver Armstrong’s trumpet, left at the shop for cleaning, to his hotel room. Armstrong was apparently initially amused to find such an ardent devotee, but appreciated his willingness to help, and the two men became good friends.

In 1933 Gonella published a book called Modern Style Trumpet Playing – A Comprehensive Course. In the same year he made uncredited appearances (alongside Lew Stone and Al Bowlly) in the films Bitter Sweet and The King’s Cup.

Gonella’s standing grew even more quickly after the formation of his own band, The Georgians, in 1935. The band took its name from a highly-popular version of the song “Georgia On My Mind” that he recorded for Lew Stone in 1932, and which became the trumpeter’s signature tune. The Georgians began as a featured band within Stone’s shows, before setting up as an independent unit.

NatGonella2Gonella formed his own big band, and quickly became a headline artist on the still-thriving variety circuit, and they continued to top bills around the country until the outbreak of World War II.

He joined the army in 1941, and was recruited into the Stars in Battledress campaign, touring allied camps in Europe and North Africa. Whilst in Europe and North Africa Gonella served as the personal servant or “batman” to Major Alexander Karet and once the war had ended was offered the position as personal Butler to the Major, but he politely refused in order to pursue his music career.

He reformed his band after the war, but the economic and musical climate was changing rapidly at that time. He flirted briefly with bebop, acknowledged that it was not for him, and returned to the variety stage during the 1950s, touring with the likes of the comedian Max Miller.

The revival in traditional jazz in the late Fifties allowed him to reform his Georgians in 1960. In February 1960 he featured on the UK television show This Is Your Life, an appearance which later inspired an album The Nat Gonella Story, modelled on Louis Armstrong’s A Musical Autobiography. He also appeared on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs in August 1966.

All of this attention re-established Gonella, at least until the advent of The Beatles brought the trad jazz boom to a halt. He moved to Lancashire in 1962, and toured regularly on the Northern club circuit until his alleged retirement on his 65th birthday, on 7 March 1973.

That retirement did not last long. Drummer Ted Easton persuaded him to come to play to his (Easton’s) club in Holland during the mid-1970s, and a new recording of a song he had first cut with Roy Fox in 1931, “Oh, Monah”, became a big hit in Holland.

It was to be his final flourish on trumpet, but he continued to sing after moving to Gosport, Hampshire, in 1977 – where a square was renamed in his honour in 1994, and was always happy to stand up and do so in a local pubs or at the Gosport Jazz Club.

LabelDigby Fairweather’s New Georgians paid tribute to Gonella’s musical heritage in 1984, and Fairweather and fellow trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton co-hosted a television tribute, Fifty Years of Nat Gonella, the following year, in which Gonella himself was an enthusiastic participant.

He continued to sing occasionally with various bands, and made the headlines again in 1997 when a sampled excerpt of his trumpet playing from a recording he made in 1932 was used in White Town’s number one pop hit, “Your Woman”.

Nat Gonella died at his home in Gosport on 6 August 1998, aged 90.

Gonella was a down-to-earth and unassuming character, and remained so throughout his life. On BBC Radio 4, Barry Humphries said that “Oh Mona” was one of two tracks that had most appealed to him in his life. Humphrey Lyttelton is among those who have testified to the fact that fame and success sat easily on his shoulders, and reports that he would show genuinely astonishment when Lyttelton would confess, as well as other prominent musicians, to Gonella having been his first jazz hero. (by wikipedia)

This is part 2 of a sampler of his very fine recordings during the 30´s … Enjoy this music from the golden days of swing !

Nat Gonella (trumpet, vocals)
Jimmy Messene (vocals)
Stella Moya
The Nat Gonella Orchestra

01. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (Fields/McHugh) 3.09
02. I Can´t Dance (Williams/Graine) 3.22
03. How I´m Doin´ (Fowler/Redman) 2.37
04. Take Another Guess (Sherman/Newman/Mencher) 3.00
05. Bessie Couldn´t Help It (Richmond/Warner/Bayhay) 3.02
06. Bill (Gonella) 2.51
07. Smoke Dreams (Freed/Brown) 3.07
08. Got A Pebble In My Shoe (Tobias/Feldman) 2.56
09. Let Us Be Sweethearts Over Again (Gilbert) 2.50
10. The Gypsy In My Sole (Jaffe/Boland) 2.55
11. Sing Me A Swing Song (Adams/Carmichael) 2.36
12. Swingin´ To Those Lies (Mayhen/Gonella) 2.45
13. The Spider And The Fly (Waller/Razaf/Johnson) 3.18
14. I´m Confessin´ (Doughterty/Nieberg/Reynolds) 3.03
15. Me, Myself And I (Gordon/Robert/Kaufman) 2.44
16. Deep Purple (DeRose/Parrish) 3.01
17. Three Little Fishes (Dowell) 3.07
18. Got Gratitude (Williams) 2.40
19. Ol´ Man River (Hammerstein/Kern) 2.42
20. The Handsome Territorial (Kennedy/Carr) 2.52