If any song shouts “swing,” it’s this classic by the Benny Goodman Sextet, featuring Goodman’s inimitable jazz clarinet and a wonderful solo by Charlie Christian, who, though he died of tuberculosis at only 25, was a big influence on later jazz guitar as well as rock. This version was recorded on January 15, 1941.
The members of the Sextet are a catalogue of jazz greats; besides Goodman on the clarinet and Christian on electric guitar, it featured Lionel Hampton on vibes, Fletcher Henderson on piano, Cootie Williams (stolen from Ellington’s band) on trumpet, George Auld on saxophone, Jo Jones on drums, and Artie Bernstein on bass (that’s eight people, of course). The ending is particularly evocative of Dixieland jazz, showing the continuity of the form over four decades. Go here for a longer (and faster) recording of this song by Goodman’s full orchestra.
Another classic from the group I love is “Rose Room“, also with a swinging introduction by Goodman and a great solo by Christian.
Part of the sextet, with Christian on the right.