|180-gram audiophile virgin vinyl.
Benny Goodman’s 1958 European tour was a resounding success. His visit to the Old Continent consisted of a week long engagement in the American section of the Brussels
1958 World Fair. He brought his big band with him (but also performed some songs in smaller formats), to which celebrated singer Jimmy Rushing was added as a special
attraction. The band was very warmly received, and many of their performances there were preserved for posterity. Immediately following his return to the States, Goodman
would record extensively in the studio. Happy Session is a product of those sessions taped between July 1958 and January 1959. Despite what the original LP title appears
to suggest, this music wasn’t recorded on one single day, or by the exact same band. Although Benny is present on all of the numbers, there are orchestra sides with different
formations, and even two different quintets – one with Russ Freeman on piano, and the other one with André Previn taking his place. Goodman himself covered the studio
expenses of the recordings with his Park Recording Company, and was therefore able to negotiate the rights of this music with two different record companies. Columbia
issued a third of the material from those dates on Happy Session, while another third of the material would be released on a Chess LP (catalog number Chess 1440) titled
Benny Rides Again! The remaining third of this material (including the alternate take added here as a bonus) appeared years later on various LP or CD compilations.
BENNY GOODMAN, clarinet
On all tracks, plus:
A1 & B6// John Frosk, Ermit V. Perry, Allen Smith, Pete Ventura (tp), Buster
Cooper, Rex Peer, Hale Rood (tb), Herb Geller, Jim Sands (as), Arthur "Babe" Clarke, Bob Wilber (ts), Pepper Adams (bar), Russ Freeman (p),
Turk Van Lake (g), Milt Hinton (b), Shelly Manne (d). New York, November 15,
A2 & B2// André Previn (p), Barney Kessel (g), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Frank Capp
September 4, 1958.
A3, A5, B1, B3 & B4// Same personnel as A1 & B6 except George Duvivier
(b) replaces Milt Hinton.
New York, November 18, 1958.
A4 & B5// Russ Freeman (p), Turk Van Lake (g), George Duvivier (b), Shelly
Manne (d). New York,
November 19, 1958.