Recreating Goodman's "Most Important Concert"

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Monday January 15, 2018

From NPR

How Benny Goodman Orchestrated ‘The Most Important Concert In Jazz History’
By: Tom Vitale

By 1938, clarinetist Benny Goodman was already known as “The King of Swing” ‘” the leader of the most popular dance band in America at a time when swing jazz was America’s most popular music. But nobody knew how it would be received in Carnegie Hall, America’s temple to classical music.

“Krupa senses something’s wrong,” Schaap says, quoting the drummer. “‘I knew I had to do something. So I had my drum breaks. So I just hit everything I possibly could. Made a lot of noise. It woke everybody up. From then on it was smooth sailing.’”

Times have changed, but the music can still bring people together. Anat Cohen, a 38-year-old Israeli-born clarinetist, played Goodman’s parts at last week’s Jazz at Lincoln Center re-creation of the 1938 concert.

“This music is alive! And when you hear it live, it’s current and it’s happening; it’s vivid and it’s happy and it’s swinging,” Cohen says. “No matter at any moment. Since the ’30s, up to today. It doesn’t matter who plays it. When you play the music, the spirit of this music is always current.”

Read the whole article here