Two Bennies Busting Out

CarouselYou might assume that “June is Busting Out All Over,” an exuberant Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune from Carousel, is unsuitable as a jazz vehicle. Two Bennies, Goodman and Carter, might argue—if they were around to argue—that there are no bad songs, only bad interpretations. Benny Goodman recorded “June is Busting Out All Over” with a pleasant vocal by Kay Penton in 1945, the year the show debuted on Broadway. Goodman’s record includes his clarinet solo and a 16-bar interlude by the little-remembered Charlie Queener (1921-1997), whose harmonic resourcefulness belied his pigeonhole classification as a “Dixieland” pianist.

Benny Carter wrote a short take-no-prisoners big band arrangement of the song for his 1958 United Artists album Aspects. It has solos, fully in the spirit of the chart, by Joe Gordon, trumpet; Frank Rosolino, trombone; Shelly Manne, drums; and the leader on alto saxophone. The video accompanying the music is one of Steve Cerra’s tribute productions for his blog Jazz Profiles. We use it here, by way of YouTube, with Steve’s permission, more or less.

The Rifftides staff wishes you a carefree weekend and a splendid June.

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  1. Jeff Sultanof says

    I first heard Goodman’s version of “June is Bustin’…” at the Lincoln Center Library back in the seventies, as it was pretty hard to find back then. I’ve always liked the arrangement, which I am pretty sure was written by Edgar Sampson, composer of “Stompin’ At the Savoy.”