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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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WOODY HERMAN

One-Two-Three-Four Jump

Sounds of Yester Year
DSOY 894

 

 

1. Introduction: Blue Flame
2. I'm Gonna See My Baby
3. Always
4. There Goes That Song Again
5. One-Two-Three-Four Jump
6. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
7. Helen Of Troy
8. Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe
9. Closer: Apple Honey
10. Introduction: Blue Flame
11. Don't Worry'Bout That Mule
12. Dream
13. A Kiss Goodnight
14. Goosey Gander
15. I Wonder
16. Northwest Passage
17. Out Of This World
18. It's Been So Long
19. Closer: Blue Flame

Neal Hefti - Trumpet, arranger
Chuck Frankhouser, Ray Wetzel, Pete Candoli, Carl Warwick - Trumpets
Ralph Pfeffner, Bill Harris, Ed Kiefer - Trombones
Woody Herman - Clarinet, alto sax, vocals
Sam Marowitz, John LaPorta - Alto saxes
Flip Phillips, Pete Mondello - Tenor saxes
Skippy DeSair - Baritone sax
Marjorie Hyams - Vibes
Ralph Burns - Piano, arranger
Billy Bauer - Guitar
Chubby Jackson - Bass
Dave Tough - Drums
Frances Wayne - Vocals

 

This CD consists of two broadcasts by the Woody Herman Band under the aegis of the AFRS (Armed Forces' Radio Services). The first session dates from October 1944 and was recorded at the Rice Hotel in Houston; the second was recorded at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City in February 1945. So here we have Woody Herman's famous First Herd, which included a starry line-up including Pete Candoli, Bill Harris, Flip Phillips, Chubby Jackson and Dave Tough.

Jazz fans may be disappointed at the number of vocals from Frances Wayne and Woody himself. They are both acceptable vocalists but most of the tracks where they sing are closer to dance music than jazz. Nevertheless, the arrangements are well put together, probably by Neal Hefti or Ralph Burns. We only get to a really jazzy number with track 5 - by the Woodchoppers, the band's small group, featuring vibist Marjorie Hyams.

Helen of Troy is a quality composition by Neal Hefti but the band really lets itself go with the famous Apple Honey. The highlights of the second broadcast are the eccentric Goosey Gander and the hectic Northwest Passage. The soloists are not identified, although I guess that Flip Phillips gets quite a few solos. The First Herd was a classy outfit, with good soloists and precise, swinging ensembles. This was the band that impressed Stravinsky so much that he wrote the Ebony Concerto for it, and you can hear why - even on the more easy-listening tracks.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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