Synopses & Reviews
On January 16, 1938 Benny Goodman brought his swing orchestra to America's venerated home of European classical music, Carnegie Hall. The resulting concert - widely considered one of the most significant events in American music history - helped to usher jazz and swing music into the American cultural mainstream. This reputation has been perpetuated by Columbia Records' 1950 release of the concert on LP. Now, in Benny Goodman's Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert, jazz scholar and musician Catherine Tackley provides the first in depth, scholarly study of this seminal concert and recording.
Combining rigorous documentary and archival research with close analysis of the recording, Tackley strips back the accumulated layers of interpretation and meaning to assess the performance in its original context, and explore what the material has come to represent in its recorded form. Taking a complete view of the concert, she examines the rich cultural setting in which it took place, and analyzes the compositions, arrangements and performances themselves, before discussing the immediate reception, and lasting legacy and impact of this storied event and album. As the definitive study of one of the most important recordings of the twentieth-century, Benny Goodman's Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert is a must-read for all serious jazz fans, musicians and scholars.
"Tackley's is the most thorough study of this celebrated event. She sifts through the prior writings and inflated claims to come up with an original, level-headed, song-by-song analysis-and it's a good read!" --Lewis Porter, Professor of Music, Rutgers University-Newark
"Catherine Tackley's valuable study details the fascinating story behind one of jazz's widely acknowledged milestones. Through meticulous cultural criticism, sound analysis, and archival research, Tackley unravels the social politics, aesthetics, and commercial interests that brought Benny Goodman's famous concert to the public ears, on to vinyl and into its eventual iconic status. We learn to view this concert's recording as a complex creation of multiple modes of mediation and not simply as proof that jazz became 'a lady.' Tackley shows us she's much more than that!" --Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music, University of Pennsylvania
"A distinguished contribution to the literature...Highly recommended." --Choice
"As one who continues to listen and thrill to the recorded version of this landmark event, I found this study fascinating." --W. Royal Stokes, author of Growing Up With Jazz: Twenty-Four Musicians Talks About Their Lives and Careers
"[U]nlikely one will find any related subject matter not covered thoroughly here." -- IAJRC Journal
About the Author
is Senior Lecturer in Music at The Open University, UK. Her first book, The Evolution of Jazz in Britain, 1880-1935
, was published in 2005. In 2006-7 Catherine was Visiting Edison Fellow at the British Library National Sound Archive, and in 2009-11 was co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project 'What is Black British Jazz?' She is a co-editor of the Jazz Research Journal
(Equinox). Catherine is currently Director of Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats Big Band.
Table of Contents
Part 1 - Context
Part 2 - Performance
Twenty Years of Jazz
Part 3 - Representation
Appendix 1 - Carnegie Hall Program
Appendix 2 - Members of the Orchestra