480 – [Daniel Glass Show]: Gene Krupa at Carnegie Hall, Part 2

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!

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