Benny Goodman

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Benny Goodman (b Chicago 1909 "“ d ----) Benny Goodman is most recognized for being an accomplished clarinetist, composer, and bandleader. He was the first white bandleader to adopt and popularize the jazz style, and brought audiences to a new level of recognition to jazz.

From the age of 10 he received rudimentary musical training at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue and at 11 he joined a band at Jane Addam's Hull House. Here, he received musical training from James Sylvester, the director of the band. In addition, Goodman took two years of private lessons from Chicago's best clarinetist, Franz Schoepp.

Benny's first professional gig was in Central Park Theater in Chicago. In 1923-24, Goodman was involved with 4 bands-"The Austin High School Gang", "˜Murph' Podalsky, Bix Beiderbecke, and Art Kassel. In 1925, he joined Ben Pollack's band in Los Angeles as a soloist. His first solo recording was "He's the Last Word" in 1926.

Pollack's band moved to New York in 1928. Goodman stayed with Pollack until September of '29. Goodman also worked with Sam Lanin, Nat Shilkret, and Meyer Davis. Also, Goodman was a leading freelance musician in New York City from 1929 to 1934.

Benny Goodman started his own 12-piece jazz band in 1934. The band was made up of three saxophones, three trumpets, two trombones, and 4 people in the rhythm section. Their small repertory included an arrangement of Benny Carter's "Take my World." This song required 4 saxophones playing a parallel four note chords in the style of improvised solos. This kind of song is what set standards for band arrangements of the "˜swing' period.

In December, 1934, Goodman engaged the black bandleader, Fletcher Henderson, to write new arrangements, and Henderson's scores of traditional jazz instrumental numbers like "King Porter Stomp" and popular songs like...