In this podcast, Daniel continues his deep dive into the famous Benny Goodman 1938 Carnegie Hall concert and recording. The resulting concert – widely considered one of the most significant events in American music history – helped to usher jazz and swing music into the American cultural mainstream.
What’s covered in this session:
- A discussion of how jazz evolved, from a small group style originally based on march music to a mainstream art form that was played by large ensembles often numbering up to 20 members.
- A deeper look at the Goodman’s small groups (trio and quartet), which would were always a part of his shows, and become a standard for many big bands of the era. Often, these small groups did not incorporate a bass player, a very different approach when compared to most modern jazz and pop ensembles.
- The concert reveals how during the Swing era, instrumentalists were generally more popular than vocalists (again, a very different circumstance from today). There are only two vocal numbers on the entire Carnegie Hall album.
- Why Goodman’s choice of including African-American members in his small groups was revolutionary and changed the face of jazz.
- How Goodman’s choice to include “ethnic” music styles in the repertoire (Scottish, Jewish, Polish) was also revolutionary for its time.
- A deeper discussion of Krupa’s drum set work, and what made him so appealing to average music fans. Points include:
- Krupa incorporation of earlier eras into his style – “early jazz” style press rolls on the snare drum, rims, etc.
- Krupa’s tremendous use of brushes.
- Krupa DOESN’T spend as much time as you would think on modern timekeeping devices: the Hi Hat, or (what would become known as) the ride cymbal.
- Incredible chops and solo breaks.
- Krupa’s playing displays an incredible diversity, and shows a deep understanding of styles and dynamics. Krupa was no slouch as a drummer!
- Daniel’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” Performance at the Chicago Drum Show in 2015.
- A link to Daniel’s podcast episode detailing Gene Krupa and His continuing influence here in the 21st Century.
- Catherine Tackley’s excellent book about the Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert, and the resulting recording.
- Photos from the famous Carnegie Hall concert over the audio of “Don’t Be That Way” (the opening song).
- The complete Carnegie Hall Concert double CD set, (best recording quality, excellent liner notes).
- Photo of the Bob Crosby Orchestra at the height of the Swing era. Notice the vocalists sitting in chairs on the right side of stage, as well as drummer Ray Bauduc perched at his “small group” drum set down front.