On Friday, November 22, jazz history was made when the official King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, and the unofficial King of jazz, Benny Carter, met in an all night jam session in Bangkok. It was actually Carter's second encounter with the King. His Majesty so enjoyed Carter's first visit to the palace last January that he asked him to return with some of his (the King's) and Carter's favorite musicians. Carter's group included horn players Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton, and Urbie Green, with a rhythm section of Chris Neville, John Heard, and Sherman Ferguson. The King, an avid jazz fan who jammed with Benny Goodman and his orchestra (including Urbie Green) in 1956, plays all the reed instruments as well as trumpet. He is also a composer whose jazz pieces have been recorded by the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Les Brown's Orchestra.
The group arrived at the palace at 9:30 in the evening. After a buffet dinner, the jamming began in the King's studio around eleven and lasted until almost five in the morning. Although Carter's group was spelled briefly by His Majesty's regular ensemble, the two Kings played almost continuously. The repertoire included several of the King's compositions, some of Carter's originals (of which the King has an extensive library), some Ellingtonia, and several dixieland evergreens which Carter hadn't played in decades.
Carter's group also performed at the first International Thai jazz festival, held in celebration of the King's 50th anniversary on the throne.
Also features compositions from the CD "Benny Carter Songbook" performed by Jon Hendricks, Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Bobby Short, and Joe Williams with Warren Vaché, Chris Neville, Steve LaSpina, and Sherman Ferguson.