Here, for the first time on CD, 61 minutes (20 tunes) with the Benny Carter Orchestra; radio broadcasts from between 1939 and 1946 recorded both at a ballroom and in the studio in Los Angeles, and at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. The repertoire consists of popular tunes of the day as well as Benny Carter originals. Besides writing many of the tunes, arranging and conducting the orchestra, Carter is featured soloist on alto sax, trumpet and clarinet. Carter’s big band arrangements feature distinct background riffs that establish a mood and a solid launching pad for the soloists.
The sound quality of the rare radio broadcasts on this CD has been greatly improved and restored. Although this music was written and performed sixty years ago, it still sounds fresh today, thanks to Benny Carter’s unique creativity as composer. The music swings like mad, and the listener can imagine the dancers enjoying themselves on the ballroom floor while Benny Carter’s Orchestra performed this music.
Benny Carter, as soloist, is the star of the show, displaying exquisite, yet often unpredictable phrasing, and constant musical inventiveness.