- Apple Honey
- Goosey Gander
- Northwest Passage
- The Good Earth
- Your Father’s Moustache
- Wild Root
- Blowin’ Up A Storm
- Mabel! Mabel!
- Lady MacGowan’s Dream
- Summer Sequence, Parts 1-4
- Back Talk
This Woody Herman band changed
the face of big band music forever; bassist
Chubby Jackson described the style of the
band as ‘charge through the brick wall jazz’.
There had never been a band with such enthusiasm
for what they were doing; they shouted each
other on, in a totally abandoned way. No doubt
the effect of more than a little stimulation
of one sort or another helped! Even today,
over 50 years after they were recorded these
tracks are great listening. Reading the personnel
lists is like a who's who of jazz. On many
of the earlier tracks Flip Phillips on tenor
and Bill Harris on trombone are the main soloists,
they were both superb jazz musicians who made
great contributions to the excitement of the
music played. In later recordings both the
trumpet playing Condoli brothers make exciting
contributions in the brass section and Dave
Tough and later Don Lamond swings the band
like no other.
Woody’s own contributions
are most impressive, he was a much better
than average vocalist, an exciting clarinet
player and an alto sax player who was very
much influenced by Johnny Hodges.
The arrangements by were
by two of the period’s best Neal Hefti, who
wrote so many classic charts for Count Basie
and pianist Ralph Burns whose beautiful Summer
Sequence is included. The composition is in
four parts the most famous of which Early
Autumn, was added a year later and brought
the then very young Stan Getz to prominence.
By that time the Herman Sax section had three
tenors Stan Getz, Herbie Steward and Zoot
Sims, a band including them could hardly fail.
I found hearing this music
again very rewarding; the quality of reproduction
is very good, as are the sleeve notes by Cary
Ginnell and the personnel listings.
This is one of the all time
great big band albums and it still sounds
very up to date some 50 years after the recordings