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Album Review

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 (these versions of "Since I Fell for You" and "Proud Mary" are not all that memorable), it was a noble effort. The best selections on this CD reissue 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.


Born: 16 May 1913 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

A fine swing clarinetist, an altoist whose sound was influenced by Johnny Hodges, a good soprano saxophonist, and a spirited blues vocalist, Woody Herman's greatest significance to jazz was as the leader of a long line of big bands. He always encouraged young talent and, more than practically any bandleader from the swing era, kept his repertoire quite modern. Although Herman was always stuck performing a few of his older hits (he played "Four Brothers" and "Early Autumn" nightly for nearly 40 years),...
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Brand New, Woody Herman
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