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Tribute to Benny Goodman
Shoeless John Jackson
Tribute to Benny Goodman
Genres: Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1


     
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CD Details

All Artists: Shoeless John Jackson
Title: Tribute to Benny Goodman
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Progressive Records
Release Date: 5/17/2004
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Tributes
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 762247710622

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CD Reviews

Peps Does Goodman Well
D. Carleton | Lansing, Michigan United States | 11/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The highly informative liner notes tell us that this was a quartet assembled for a Benny Goodman tribute at the Atlanta Jazz Party (4/20/97), and herded into a studio the same day for some impromptu small group swing. This is my favorite of the Ken Peplowski Goodman tribute recordings, as the tunes were chosen purposefully to gain from a fresh approach. Not that Peplowski ever just recreates BG's solos. In this set the quartet reinterprets tunes which Benny Goodman recorded, but not in the quartet format. "Nobody's Sweetheart" was a trio effort, here punched along spritely by John Cocuzzi (vibes), Joe Ascione (drums), Johnny Varro (piano) and Pep's clarinet. "Yellow Dog Blues" goes all the way back to Ben Pollock days, done here with a shuffle rhythm. "Rose of the Rio Grande" opens with a piano chorus, abetted by clarinet and tasty cymbal touches before the whole group joins in for several choruses. "The Nearness of You" is a lovely John Cocuzzi vibes feature. "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", from Benny's big band book, here sounding much like the classic quartet (Goodman, Wilson, Hampton, Krupa), with breakneck choruses by Peplowski, Cocuzzi, Varro and Ascione before the ensemble rides out. "For All We Know" is a solo piano feature for Johnny Varro. "Bye Bye Blues" (the only track requiring a second take due to Ken and Joe's uncontrollable giggling on the first attempt) is a spirited outing by all. "Did I Remember?" and "You" are Swing pure and simple. "Winin' Boy Blues", the Jelly Roll Morton tune again goes back to Benny's early (sideman) days. It gets a nice moderate blues treatment here. "It Never Entered My Mind", performed here as a clarinet-piano duet, slowly and beautifully performed offering more than just a change of pace, becoming a highlight of the set. "Pennies From Heaven" and "Jubilee" round out the session without losing any of the swing. Altogether a great set from a bunch of professionals who really know how to swing together.
The name of the group itself testifies to the love and respect the players all have for Benny Goodman. Benny's pianist, Mel Powell, had a date at the independent Commodore record label. Benny wanted to sit in, but was contractually obligated to Columbia. He made the date anyway, recording under the pseudonymn "Shoeless John Jackson", itself a tongue-in-cheek reference by the Chicagoan to White Sox stalwart Shoeless Joe Jackson."