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Bebop Spoken There

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11,635 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 770 of them this year alone and, so far, 34 this month (July 9).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Benny's Last Goodbye

If you are given to trawling the Pound Shops as I am you may stumble across a DVD by Benny Goodman described as "His Last Performance" filmed and recorded at the Tivoli in Sweden. Flash the cash whilst it is there - I bought it a few years back for a fiver - it is a fitting tribute to the one time King of Swing. That the tone may have become slightly thinner and the well worn standards played a thousand times before doesn't detract from the fluency of his playing. Benny even appeared to be enjoying himself - the famous ray conspicuous by its absence and replaced by, of all things, a smile! Behind him, the Swedish quartet swung sympathetically as they worked out on Lady Be Good, Poor Butterfly, The World Is Waiting for The Sunrise, Send in the Clowns, It's Easy To Remember. Jimmy Maxwell, a longtime Goodman trumpet associate played I'm Confessin tightly muted before Benny joined him for Don't Be That Way that somehow segued into Stomping At The Savoy. The guitarist, Harry Pepe, had a nice Charlie Christian feel to his solo. I Should Care was a piano solo for Don Haas who played brilliantly throughout. Maxwell was replaced by Svend Asmusen on violin who teamed up with Benny for If I Had You and a faster After You've Gone. They both went for it culminating in a blistering albeit chaotic finale. Maxwell returned to join Benny and Svend for Air Mail Special before, after demands for more, the 'king' played a few bars of his theme tune Goodbye. It's well worth a pound (I think I saw it in Wilkinsons for 99p if the recession is still hitting you) and a fitting reminder of one of jazz's all-time greats swinging off into the sunset. Benny Goodman (clt), Jimmy Maxwell (tpt), Svend Asmunssen (vln), Don Haas (pno), Harry Pepe (gtr), Charly Antolini (dms), Peter Witte (Bs).
Lance.
PS: I opted out of the Chilli tonight because of the 'Fog on the Tyne'.

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