The most popular bandleader of the big band era, Benny Goodman is known the world over as "The King Of Swing." Among Goodman's many honors are an honorary 1986 Grammy for his lifetime of achievement. These two live albums on one CD document Goodman's legendary 1958 Brussels performances and include the hits "Let's Dance," "More Than You Know," and "Mr. Five By Five" with vocals by Jimmy Rushing.
2 LPs on 1 CD: BENNY IN BRUSSELS VOL. 1 (1958)/BENNY IN BRUSSEL VOL. 2 (1958).
Originally released on Columbia.
Personnel: Benny Goodman (vocals); Jimmy Rushing (vocals); Billy Bauer (guitar); Ernie Mauro, Al Block (alto saxophone); Seldon Powell, Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); Billy Hodges, Taft Jordan, John Frosk, E.V. Perry (trumpet); Rex Peer, Vernon Brown, Willie Dennis (trombone); Roland Hanna (piano); Roy Burness (drums).
Liner Note Author: Richard Pack.
Recording information: American Theater, Brussels, Belgium (05/1958); The Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium (05/1958).
Benny Goodman was featured leading his orchestra during a week-long series of concerts at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. Extensive recordings were made and some of the highlights appeared on two separate LPs issued by Columbia, the complete contents of which are included on this single-CD compilation. The band is in great form playing material that will be, for the most part, very familiar to longtime Goodman fans. Goodman has a number of features fronting a quintet (which includes pianist Roland Hanna, guitarist Billy Bauer, and bassist Arvell Shaw); among the especially memorable tracks are "Hallelujah" and "More Than You Know." One high point is "Brussels Blues," the crowd-pleasing feature for Jimmy Rushing, which the blues singer composed during this extended engagement; he also thrills the crowd with "Mr. Five by Five," a song written specifically for him. One thing that remains unexplained is Columbia's odd editing, which resulted in different versions of the same material appearing on the mono versus the stereo editions of the original LPs; this CD was evidently produced from the mono master tapes. This thoroughly enjoyable disc should be considered one of Goodman's best releases recorded during the 1950s. ~ Ken Dryden