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Woody Herman And His Orchestra Old Gold Rehearsals 1944

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Album Review

This is a very surprising collection of recordings by Woody Herman's First Herd, which consists of rehearsals from a series of broadcasts in 1944 made by the big band on the Old Gold Cigarettes summer season of radio shows. These transcriptions were rehearsals primarily made to check broadcast timings and microphone balances; what is unusual is that they were set aside without damage for over six and a half decades, showing little signs of wear or sound flaws. The generally swinging arrangements are by either Ralph Burns or Neal Hefti; the material includes a mix of songs associated with Herman ("Woodchopper's Ball" and "Apple Honey"), standards ("Sweet Lorraine" and "I've Got the World on a String"), and quite a few novelty throwaways with good-natured vocals by the leader, such as the forgettable "It Must Be Jelly Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That" and the rather bland "Noah." Herman fans will enjoy strong performances by Flip Phillips and Bill Harris, as well as the leader's clarinet solos and underrated vocals. Announcements, commercials, and incidental commentary by sports broadcaster Red Barber and popular singer Allan Jones are included; especially amusing is the "Old Gold Commercial" with Barber referring to "tuhbaccah" laced with "Apple Honey" in his thick southern accent. Fans of big band swing will enjoy this long-overlooked music.


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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Woody Herman And His Orchestra Old Gold Rehearsals 1944, Woody Herman
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 30 October 2001

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