Saturday, May 30, 2009


Hoje, o mundo do jazz celebra o centenário de seu nascimento. O clarinetista do swing Benjamim David Goodman ou Benny Goodman, nasceu em Chicago no dia 30 de maio de 1909. Era clarinetista e tornou-se um dos maiores lideres de “big bands” de todos os tempos e ficou conhecido como o “Rei do Swing”.

Basicamente não se pode dizer que Goodman foi o precursor do swing pois, antes dele, o destaque necessariamente tem que ser de Fletcher HEnderson. Mas é incontestável, o fato que foi ao som de sua banda que toda America dançou sem parar nos anos 30 e 40 e por isso, até os nossos dias, é considerado o eterno “Rei do Swing”.

Além deste detalhe criou um trio com o baterista Gene Krupa e o pianista Teddy Wilson (primeiro musico negro a se apresentar com um grupo popular branco) em 1935. Mais tarde o grupo ganhou ainda a participação do fabulosos vibrafonista Lionel Hampton, do guitarrista Charlie Christian e muitos outros gigantes do jazz.

Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee e Helen Forest foram, em épocas diferentes, vocalistas de sua famosa swing band.,

Após 1945 Goodman se limitou a tocar com grupos pequenos além de aturar em orquestra clássicas como solista.

O grande ‘Rei do Swing” faleceu em junho de 1956.
Born on may 30th 1909, into a large, poverty stricken family, Benny Goodman began playing the clarinet at an early age. He was associated with the Austin High School Gang, having gone to school with drummer Dave Tough. By the time he was twelve, Goodman appeared onstage imitating famous bandleader/clarinetist Ted Lewis. It was at this concert that Ben Pollack heard the young clarinetist and Benny was soon playing in Pollack’s band.
Goodman’s first recordings were made with the Pollack group in 1926, and give a strong example of Benny’s influences at the time including Jimmie Noone, who was then with Doc Cook and His Dreamland Orchestra and Leon Roppolo of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. During this period Goodman recorded his first sides as a leader with members of the Pollack band including one 1928 date which features the only known recording of Benny on alto and baritone saxophones. Following the musical migration out of Chicago and into New York, Goodman became a very successful and popular free-lancer, joining the likes of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey in New York studios.
In 1934 Benny put together his first big band, featuring Bunny Berigan on trumpet, Jess Stacey on piano and Gene Krupa on drums. With the addition of some excellent, sophisticated arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, the “Swing Era” was born.
Goodman spent the next fifty years recording and touring with various groups big and small, including some very successful trips to Russia and the Far East. He also played many concerts on a classical format that received mixed reviews. Known by musicians for his stand-offish and “cheap” nature, many sidemen had a love/hate relationship with Goodman.
Many musicians claimed that Benny was dishonest when it came time to pay off the band and many more recalled the Goodman “ray”, the dirtiest of looks received when a mistake was made.
Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee and Helen Forrest were once, in diferents period of times, vocalists of his swing band.
That aside, its clear that without Goodman the “Swing Era” would have been nowhere near as strong when it came, if it came at all. After his death, the Yale University library received the bulk of Goodman’s personal collection including many private never-before-heard recordings and rare unpublished photos.
Click here to enjoy benny Goodman and Gene Krupa letting it all hang out performing Sing,Sing,Sing.

Cheers!!! Benny Goodman. Wherever you are!!!

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