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Woody Herman

After early experience in Chicago with the bands led by Tom Gerun and Harry Sosnik, Woody Herman toured with Gus Arnheim. In 1934, he joined Isham Jones, and when Jones's group disbanded in 1936 Herman used its leading sidemen as the nucleus for his own orchestra. This band went through a number of changes of personnel, such as the inclusion in 1943 of Chubby Jackson and in 1944 of Neal Hefti, Ralph Burns, Flip Phillips, and Bill Harris (by the mid-1940s, under the name Herman's Herd, it was internationally famous for the force and originality of its music. Herman reformed the band in 1947, and the distinctive feature of the Second Herd was the group of saxophonists (three tenor and one baritone) who came to be known as the Four Brothers; among the musicians who played in the section were Serge Chaloff, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, and Gene Ammons. After the demise of the Second Herd in 1949, Herman continued to lead bands; these were perhaps less creative, but their consistently high level of musicianship assured his continuing reputation

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Greg Yasinitsky YAZZ Band: New Normal

Read "New Normal" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As one good album clearly deserves another, Greg Yasinitsky, who wears many hats—composer, arranger, woodwind specialist and educator among them—has released New Normal, the second impressive outing by his admirable Washington state-based ensemble, the YAZZ Band, which varies in size from septet to tentet. Unlike Yasinitsky's earlier album, YAZZ Band, which was recorded basically in one ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Connor Munroe: Then + Now

Read "Then + Now" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Ransom Everglades High School saxophonist Connor Munroe, from Miami, FL, has been playing the sax since he was nine years-old and has been selected for twelve All-American and All-State jazz bands among his many awards. He here presents his debut album, the warm and charming Then + Now. Offering a light repertoire of five well-known ballad ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Peter Leitch New Jazz Orchestra: New Life

Read "New Life" reviewed by Jack Bowers

After what Canadian-born guitarist Peter Leitch has been through in the last eight years, it's little wonder he named the ensemble he now leads the New Life Jazz Orchestra. Diagnosed in 2012 with stage 4 lung cancer, Leitch faced the choice of throwing in the proverbial towel or undergoing career-ending cancer treatment. He chose the latter, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Marvin Stamm: Team Player

Read "Marvin Stamm: Team Player" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Trumpeter Marvin Stamm is known for being part of a gazillion albums, having that ability to go into a studio and play exactly what's required, whether it's for a records by pop singers, jazz artists, Paul McCartney, Donny Hathaway or touring with Frank Sinatra. It's a reputation the highly skilled player earned with hard work.

ARTICLE: RADIO

Subtle Is as Subtle Does

Read "Subtle Is as Subtle Does" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Ya want big bands? We got big bands. Sometimes we got one in each speaker. In this exploration of the more extroverted side of jazz, the boys check out works by a blazing trumpet player (and world-class womanizer), a so-so clarinetist with a heart of gold, two piano-playing band leaders who both worship Duke Ellington, and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Pietro: Hypersphere

Read "Hypersphere" reviewed by Paul Rauch

You may not know the name Dave Pietro offhand, but it is likely, if you are a jazz fan of any sort, that you have heard him play. As a saxophone/woodwind artist, composer, educator, sideman, and bandleader, he has performed across a broad spectrum of projects since his becoming a mainstay on the New York scene ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Fedchock NY Sextet: Into The Shadows

Read "Into The Shadows" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If a sextet--or a group of any size--is to be measured by the sum of its parts, trombonist John Fedchock's NY Sextet succeeds with flying colors, as it embodies half a dozen of the finest jazz musicians the New York City area has to offer. As we know, however, an inclusive appraisal rests on far more ...

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...


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