Marco (Benny) Benassi is an Italian disc jockey and producer of eurodance/electronic music born in 1967. This is a collection of his best tunes up to 2007 ("Satisfaction", "Who's Your Daddy", "I Love My Sex", etc). The guy is a genius, his computer-generated vox is sick, and his beats will rock your block. Put it on in the car- you're ready to drag race in a minivan. Put it on at the gym- cardio is done before you know what's happening. Life is better with Benny. Do it now.
Benny Goodman took some stylistic chances during his 11-year tenure with Capitol. He listened closely to, then flirted with, bebop during this time, not altering his own swing-based playing but inserting it into a bop framework. He also played traditional swing in various small groups. The sessions covered on this most recent Mosaic four-disc (six-album) set were originally issued on a number of 10" and 12" albums, as well as the CDs BG in Hi Fi and The Benny Goodman Story, a Japanese issue.
Benny Carter's MusicMasters catalogue turned up some fine sessions in which colleagues included Clark Terry, Hank Jones, and Doc Cheatham, among a raft of musicians - for the stellar singers, see the end of this review. The recordings, made in various locations, span the years 1990-95 and reveal the altoist seemingly unruffled by the reach of Time, still spinning some sublime and harmonically darting lines as if for the first time.
This boxed set of four CDs recorded between 1987 and 1989 illustrates Benny Carter's versatility performing with four different groups. He was already aged 80 when he recorded the first of these albums, yet there is no sign of ageing. Indeed, Benny stayed alive and active until he was 95. From the very first track, the listener is struck by Carter's pure, mellow sound, putting him in contention with Johnny Hodges and Willie Smith as one of the three altoists in jazz with the sweetest tone. This CD also exhibits Benny as a composer, since he wrote all eleven tunes. Dizzy Gillespie makes guest appearances on three tracks, playing with restraint and harmonizing well with Carter.
The Jazztet had been in existence for two years when they recorded what would be their final LPs, Here and Now and Another Git Together. The personnel, other than the two co-leaders, flugelhornist Art Farmer and tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson, had completely changed since 1960 but the group sound was the same. The 1962 version of the Jazztet included trombonist Grachan Moncur III, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Roy McCurdy. It is remarkable to think that this talent-filled group wasn't, for some reason, snapped up to record even more albums together. Highlights of their excellent out-of-print LP include Ray Bryant's "Tonk," "Whisper Not," "Just in Time," and Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear." A classic if short-lived hard bop group.
Benny Goodman's formidable work in front of the big band made him one of the world's most popular musicians, but his work with these "chamber jazz" groups made him one of the world's most respected musicians. Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Jimmie Noone's Apex Club band, to name two, had prospered in the 1920s as small groups playing traditional New Orleans-style fare, but until Goodman's forays beginning in 1935, the small band had been limited to blues, Dixieland, and the group improvisations of the New Orleans style. Goodman applied the small-group concept to the steady 4/4 rhythm and the repertoire (mostly standards) of swing. Instead of being dance music, this small-group swing showcased the individual and collective talent of the musicians involved–and the talent and telekinetic interplay of these men were considerable to say the least.