476

Woody Herman: The Third Herd

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
In 1951, two years after he was forced to disband the groundbreaking Second Herd, Woody Herman was back in the saddle and leading another swinging ensemble, the suitably named Third Herd. These radio air–checks of the Herd were recorded during a three–week engagement at the Hollywood Palladium in May–June ’51. Gone were the original “Four Brothers” (Getz, Sims, Steward / Cohn, Chaloff) and other standouts including Bill Harris, Don Lamond, Chubby Jackson, Terry Gibbs and Ernie Royal, but Woody had a number of first–class players in the newest Herd including trumpeters Don Fagerquist and Shorty Rogers, trombonist Urbie Green, tenor saxophonist Phil Urso, pianist Dave McKenna and drummer Sonny Igoe. Al Cohn continued to arrange for the band, as did Ralph Burns, Neal Hefti and Jimmy Giuffre, among others, and Rogers was beginning to make his presence felt with such swinging charts as “More Moon.” The Third Herd is in customarily good form here but the sound is somewhat murky, akin to what one would have heard on the radio half a century ago. Emcees Bill Baldwin and Johnny Grant keep their remarks brief and to the point, which is always a plus on such occasions. The album’s twenty tracks encompass a dozen instrumentals (including Woody’s opening theme, “Blue Flame,” which is heard three times) and eight vocals, five by Woody and three by Dolly Houston. Another song closely associated with Herman, the familiar “Woodchopper’s Ball,” is played twice, the second time as part of closing medley with Tiny Kahn’s strapping “Leo the Lion.” Among the more productive soloists on the finale is tenor Bill Perkins who sits in for Urso on the last four tracks. The instrumentals are fine, especially those already mentioned, and the vocals at least respectable. The playing time (65:25) is generous but the generally subpar sound quality neutralizes that advantage. On balance, an above–average sampling of one of Woody’s splendid thundering Herds in a concert setting.


Track Listing: Theme: Blue Flame; Perdido; Lonesome Gal; Early Autumn; By George; Pennies from Heaven; Don

Personnel: Woody Herman, conductor, alto sax, clarinet, vocals; Don Fagerquist, Doug Mettome, Roy Caton, Shorty Rogers, trumpet; Herb Randel, Urbie Green, Jerry Dorn, trombone; Phil Urso (1

| Record Label: Storyville Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Dharma
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!