Woody Herman & His Orchestra – At The Woodchoppers Ball (1965)

FrontCover1.JPGWoody Herman, byname of Woodrow Charles Herman, (born May 16, 1913, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. – died October 29, 1987, Los Angeles, California), American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, bandleader, and singer who was best known as the front man for a succession of bands he dubbed “herds.”

Herman was a child prodigy who sang and danced in vaudeville at age six. Soon after, he began playing the saxophone and later the clarinet. Billed as the “Boy Wonder of the Clarinet,” he cut his first record, “The Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia,” at age 16. After studying music at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a term, Herman became a touring musician, joining the Tom Gerun band in 1929. In 1934 he became part of the Isham Jones Juniors; when it disbanded in 1936, Herman used its most talented sidemen to form his own ensemble, which he publicized as the “Band That Plays the Blues.” The group was propelled to stardom in 1939 with the success of “Woodchopper’s Ball.” More than a million copies of the song were sold, and it became Herman’s theme.

During the 1940s Herman’s band, then known as Herman’s Herd, was noted for its exuberance and technical brilliance. It had its own radio show, appeared in motion pictures (such as New Orleans, 1947), and in 1946 performed Igor Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto at Carnegie Hall.

Woody Herman01.jpg

As did many other bandleaders after World War II, Herman dissolved his band in 1946, but within months he formed his Second Herd, featuring tenor saxophonists Zoot Sims and Stan Getz. (Getz attained stardom with his solo on Herman’s “Early Autumn.”) The band pioneered the combination of three tenor saxophones and one baritone saxophone and became identified with the song “Four Brothers,” which used that grouping. Herman at this time was also one of the few big band leaders to incorporate bebop-tinged material into his repertoire, as on the hit “Caldonia,” which featured Herman’s eccentric vocals. After the Second Herd disbanded in 1949, Herman continued to form and lead his “Thundering Herds.”

Woody Herman02
During the 1960s and ’70s, Herman became stylistically more eclectic, using material by artists as diverse as Charles Mingus and the Beatles. He performed live concerts continuously throughout the 1970s and ’80s and in 1986 released Woody Herman and His Big Band 50th Anniversary Tour. Although his struggles with tax authorities drastically affected his later activities, he retained his reputation as a superb leader and organizer until the end. An autobiography, The Woodchopper’s Ball (cowritten with Stuart Troup), was published posthumously in 1990. (by britannica.com)


Original front + back cover from 1962

And here´s a low-budget album by Woody Herman, first released in 1963. But … this is rare live recording (date and location unknown, maybe from 1962 but … who knows ?) …

Enjoy this exciting and thrilling sound of one of the greatest in the Big Band Jazz scene …


Alternate front + back cover

Bob Clark (trumpet)
John Coppola (trumpet)
Jim Gannon (bass)
Jake Hanna (drums)
Bill Harris (trombone)
Woody Herman (clarinet, saxophone)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Arno Marsh (saxophone)
Archie Martin (trombone)
Jay Migliori (saxophone)
Andy Peele (trumpet)
Roger Pemberton (saxophone)
Hal Posey (trumpet)
Joe Romano (saxophone)
Danny Stiles (trumpet)
Roy Wiggins (trombone)


01. Natchel Blues (Roland) 4.41
02. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Russell/Ellington) 4.19
03. Body And Soul (Heyman/Eyton/Green/Sour) 5.05
04. Ready, Get Set, Jump (Roland) 4.57
05. At The Woodchoppers Ball (Bishop/Herman) 4.36
06. Opus De Funk (Silver) 5.23
07. Park East (Roland) 4.25
08. Saxy (Roland) 3.13



More from Woody Herman:


Woody Herman – Brand New (1971)

FrontCover1.JPGWoody Herman recorded with many different types of musicians over his years as a soloist and as a mainstream big-band leader. This was an idea that jazz writer Ralph Gleason suggested: to record an album with guitarist Mike Bloomfield, a young blues & rock musician, who had already established himself with Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band and some record dates under his own name. Woody and Mike were both excited about the prospect of working together. The band had the charts ready for Mike, so he just stepped in, plugged in and wailed. Maybe some “purists” would find this album beneath the bulk of the band’s work, but that is just NOT WOODY!! He was always looking to expand horizons and try the new things. (And since jazz is not a “pure” music, but mostly borrows from other forms, that’s what keeps it FRESH).
The band was WAILING! Soloists were Bobby Burgess, Sal Nistico, Tony Klatka, Tom Harrell, Alan Broadbent and Frank Tiberi, with Ed Soph kicking the band along on drums! Mix in Michael’s guitar riffs on a blues album by “the band that plays the blues,” and you have PURE FUN! Alan Broadbent pulls off the classic, “After Hours” on the Fender-Rhodes piano in awesome fashion. Bloomfield helps kick the bejeezus out of “Proud Mary,” done at one of those incredible “Woody” tempos. Bobby Burgess plays a gorgeous ballad solo on “Love In Silent Amber.” Also, Alan Broadbent contributes original blues charts “Sidewalk Stanley” (named after a familiar character the band got to know), “Hitch Hike On The Possum Trot Line” and one of the greatest, swinging, big band charts ever written (without mercy for the trumpet section), “Adam’s Apple!” Yes, indeed…there’s some REALLY GOOD STUFF on this album…particularly if you like hearing the Herman band play the blues (are you KIDDING??) !! This is a MUST HAVE album for Woody Herman fans and an interesting blend of pop culture and hardcore big-band jazz for the rest of you. I would recommend this to anyone interested!!! (by C. Law)

Woody Herman 1971

Woody Herman always went out of his way to keep his band’s repertoire and style modern and contemporary. Certainly there were few other swing era big-band leaders who would have welcomed the electric blues guitarist Michael Bloomfield as a guest on four selections, as Herman did for 1971’s Brand New. Although not a complete success, it was a noble effort. The best selections  are Ivory Joe Hunter’s “I Almost Lost My Mind” and “After Hours.” Alan Broadbent (heard throughout on electric piano) contributed five of the eight arrangements, although Nat Pierce’s reworking of “After Hours” is most appealing. Other key soloists include Herman (on alto, soprano, and clarinet in addition to taking two vocals), trumpeter Tony Klatka, and Frank Tiberi on tenor. (by Scott Yanow)


Alan Broadbent (piano)
Bill Bryne (trumpet)
Forrest Buchtel (trumpet)
Bobby Burgess (trombone)
Tom Harrell (trumpet)
Woody Herman (clarinet, saxophone, vocals)
Tony Klatka (trumpet)
Steve Lederer (saxophone)
Ira Nepus (trombone)
Sal Nistico (saxophone)
Buddy Powers (trumpet)
Alan Read (bass)
Gene Smookler (saxophone)
Ed Soph (drums)
Don Switzer (trombone)
Frank Tiberi (saxophone)
Michael Bloomfield (guitar)


01. Sidewalk Stanley (Broadbent) 5.19
02. After Hours (Parrish) 6.39
03. Since I Fell For You (Johnson) 4.02
04. Proud Mary (Fogerty) 4.16
05. Hitch Hike On The Possum Trot Line (Broadbent) 7.09
06. Love Is Silent Amber (Broadbent) 4.36
07. I Almost Lost My Mind (Hunter) 4.45
08. Adam’s Apple (Broadbent) 6.00



Woody Herman – Woody Herman And His Big Band In Poland (1977)

FrontCover1His most successful band Herman Band was forced to disband in 1946 and this was Herman’s only financially successful band. He left his band to be supportive of his wife and family while his wife, Charlotte Nestle who was struggling with alcoholism and pill addictions. Fans and Critics have said that the big band era ended in December 1946 when Herman’s band and seven other bands disbanded. Herman created in 1947 the Second Herd band and in the 1950s the Third Herd Band. The Third Herd had a successful tour in Europe. By the 1960s he was famous for hiring many young but stellar up incoming musicians for his Herd Bands.

By the end of the 60s his music library was heavily influenced by rock and roll. He featured brass and woodwind instruments that before this time were not associated with jazz music. Into the 1970s Herman began spreading his knowledge of music through jazz education, which eventually leant him the name as “Road Father.” He kept performing into the 1980s and he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime achievement award in 1987. (by battleofthebigbands.com)

And this is a very rare vinly rip of a very rare Woody Herman Lp, released only in Poland and I got this item from a friend in Poland … Thank you very much !

And sou listen to this album and you should liten very carefully … and then you will know why I think Woody Herman was one of best … one of the best  leader from that great Big Band Era … long times ago …

And if you want to know more about this concert … read the liner-notes (in English) on the backcover of this wonderful album !

Herman01Woody Herman & Frank Tiberi

Gaty Anderson (saxophone, flute)
Bill Byrne (trumpet)
Charles Davis (trumpet)
Denny Dotson (trumpet)
Nelson Hatt (trumpet)
Woody Herman -(clarinet, saxophome, vocals)
John Hoffman (trumpet)
Steve Houghton (percussion)
Dale Kirkland (trombone)
Lyle Mays (piano)
John Oslawski (saxophone)
Jim Pugh (trombone)
Salvatore Spicola (saxophone, flute, piccolo, bassoon)
Slam Stewart (bass)
Frank Tiberi (saxophone, flute, bassoon)
Vaughn Wiester (trombone)


01. Reunion At Newport ’72 (Broadbent) 8.49
02. Where Is The Love (Hathaway) 4.46
03. Jazz Man (King) 4.22
04. Four Brothers (Guiffra) 3.09
05. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life (Legrand) 6.22
06. La Fiesta (Corea) 5.08
07. Laura (Mercer) 4.24


Woody Herman & His Orchestra – Live In Seattle (1989)

FrontCover1After 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.

WoodyHerman02After 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. The Anglo-American Herd, which he organized in 1959, was significant in the history of English Jazz; another of the more distinctive later bands, the Swinging Herd, was formed in 1962 and featured such excellent soloists as Bill Chase, Phil Wilson, and Sal Nistico. Herman broadened his scope in the late 1960s, when he took up soprano saxophone and included young jazz-rock players in his groups. He toured widely in the 1970s, and in the early 1980s held a residency in a club in New Orleans. Thereafter he worked principally on the West Coast, before taking up another residency in the St. Regis Hotel, New York, in 1985. He celebrated his 50th anniversary as bandleader with the formation of a new orchestra in 1986.

Although Herman’s instrumental expertise was considerable, his essential importance was as an organizer. His rare ability to assemble and sustain bands notable for the quality of their musicians grew especially clear in the late years of World War II, when his group consisted of brilliant improvisers whose ensemble playing was exuberant and incisive; Igor Stravinsky was so impressed by its sound that in 1945 he composed his Ebony Concerto for the band. The harmonic procedures of bop influenced Herman’s next orchestra even more deeply, confirming his freedom from the contemporary sectarianism in jazz. The ebullient Lemon Drop (1948) with its succession of exciting improvisations illustrates Herman’s shrewd open-mindedness as a bandleader as do more overtly ambitious recordings like the two-part Lady McGowan’s Dream (1946) and the four-part Summer Sequence (1946-7), both composed by Burns. (by The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Oxford University Press)

WoodyHerman01The 1967 (released for the first time in 1989) edition of Woody Herman’s Orchestra is captured live in concert on this well-recorded European import. With fine playing from tenor saxophonist Sal Nistico, baritonist Ronnie Cuber, pianist John Hicks and high-note trumpeter Bill Chase, this is an excellent all-around showcase for the band. Some tunes are stronger than others, with “Greasy Sack Blues” and “Jumpin’ Blue” being high points, although “Make Someone Happy” and the funky “Hush” are more routine. To Herman’s credit, “Four Brothers” is the only one of his older songs to be reprised on this interesting set; the leader sounds good on clarinet, alto and soprano. (by Scott Yanow)

It´s time to discover Woody Herman; listen to his great version of “Hush” and his exciting version of “Wartermelon Man” and you´ll know what I mean !

Live at the Gezira Sporting Club. Cairo, Egypt, 1966

Live at the Gezira Sporting Club. Cairo, Egypt, 1966

Bob Burgess (trombone)
Bill Chase (trumpet)
Richard Cooper(trumpet)
Ronnie Cuber (saxophone)
Harry Hall (trumpet)
Woody Herman (clarinet, saxophone)
John Hicks (piano)
Steve Lederer (saxophone)
John Madrid (trumpet)
Michael Moore (bass)
Sal Nistico (saxophone)
Vince Prudente (trombone)
Jack Ranelli (drums)
Frank Vicari (saxophone)

01. Hush (South) 4.46
02. Watermelon Man (Hancock) 7.42
03. Greasy Sack Blues (Traditional) 7.30
04. Jumpin’ Blue (Randolph) 10.18
05. Make Someone Happy (Smith) 6.47
06. Four Brothers (Giuffré) 3.54