Caldonia; Black Orchid; Blowin' Up A Storm; Bijou; Crazy Rhythm; Woodchoppers Ball; Mambo Herd; Tito meets Woody; Latin Flight; Hail, Hail the Herds all Here; Yes Indeed; It's Delovely; Mt Everest; Bamba Samba (Bossa Nova); Original # 2; Love Song Ballad; Prelude ala Cha Cha; Ebony Concerto
Tracks 1 - 5: Chubby Jackson (b); Billy Bauer (g); Don Lamond (d); Nat Pierce (p); Sam Marowitz, Al Cohn, Sam Donahue, Paul Quinichette, Danny Bank (reeds); Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Rehak, Billy Byers (tb); Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow, Al Stewart, Nick Travis, Irv Markowitz (t).
Tracks 6 & 9: Willie Thomas, Danny Stiles, Hal Posey, Al Forte, Bobby Clark (t); Willie Dennis, Roger Delilio, Jimmy Guinn (tb); Al Belletto, Marty Flax, Joe Romano, Jay Migliori (reeds); Jimmy Campbell (d); Major Holley (b); Al Planck (p).
Tracks 7 & 8: Ernie Royal, Steve Lyphus, Nick Travis, Marky Markowitz (t); Frank Rehak, Billy Byers, Bill Elton (tb); Sam Marowitz, Al Cohn, Pete Mpndello, Paul Quinichette, Danny Bank (reeds); Tito Puente (timbales); Robert Rodriguez (b); and assorted latin percussion by Gilbert Lopez, Raymond Rodriguez & Ray Barretto.
Tracks 10 - 13: Ernie Royal, Irv Markowitz,Al Stewart, Nick Travis, Bernie Glow or Joe Ferrante (t); Frank Rehak, Bob Brookmeyer, Tom Mitchell or Dick Hickson, Jim Dahl (tb); Sam Marowitz, Sam Most, Al Cohn, Pete Mondello, Danny Bank (reeds); Chubby Jackson (b); Marty Napoleon (p); Don Lamond (d).
Tracks 14 - 17: Unidentified Herman Orchestra featuring Charlie Byrd (g).
Tracks 18 - 20: Unidentified Herman Orchestra.
Woody Herman's recordings are historically of great importance, and this fact is borne out by the excellent musicianship shown on this recording from his middle period. Many College and University Bands of today play with great accuracy and attention to detail, but they don't seem to have that special something that the great bands of the past had. Woody's "Herds" all had great sounding characteristics - at various times the sax section had a particular sound, the brass team had a cutting edge and the rhythm section played close to their ultimate ability. It may be that modern technology has changed the sound of the rhythm section beyond the degree required, with bassists playing so accurately and more up front in the recording mix and drummers playing equipment that has a hard metallic sound which doesn't match the calf heads and those old cymbals from the 40's and 50's. Whatever the difference is, this recording shows that Woody had his own special magic, which on this occasion has additional delights in the added Latin percussion of Tito Puente and the rare appearance of Charlie Byrd on three other tracks.
The soloists had a special sound that they had honed to almost perfection, with Brookmeyer, Cohn, Most and Travis deserving special mention. However, the one irreplaceable element in the band is the superb "one-off" drumming of the great Don Lamond.
A very collectible item.
by Al Merritt
Copyright Jazz Now, September 2005, all rights reserved.
Jazz Now Interactive September 2005 Vol 15 No. 5 - Table of Contents