January 29, 2008
Mosaic Select

Album Review

Woody Herman was dedicated to keeping his big band going and was focused more on music that satisfied him than focusing on making hits. Most of the selections in this three-CD set came from an overlooked period in the clarinetist's career, his early 1960s tenure on the Phillips label. At this point, Herman had recently welcomed new arrivals like trumpeter Bill Chase, tenor saxophonist Sal Nistico, and trombonist Phil Wilson, while still talented veterans like pianist Nat Pierce, tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins, and drummer Jake Hanna. Culled from six separate albums plus a 45 pm single, the Herman band may not reach the heights of earlier groups for some fans, but they are clearly a force to be reckoned with. Among the highlights are Pierce's sauntering arrangement of Joe Newman's "Mo-Lasses," the playful "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" that also interpolates Duke Ellington's "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," Chase's lush interpretation of the pop song "A Taste of Honey," a frisky take of Charles Mingus' "Better Get It in Your Soul," return visits to old favorites like "Bijou" and "Apple Honey," plus "You Dirty Dog," a recent composition by Ellington for his small group record date with Coleman Hawkins. This is an excellent survey of music that deserves to be remembered.
Ken Dryden, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Mo-Lasses
  2. Blues for J.P.
  3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  4. Tunin' In
  5. Sister Sadie
  6. Sig EP
  7. It's a Lonesome Old Town (When You're Not Around)
  8. Camel Walk
  9. Moon River
  10. Hallelujah Time
  11. Deep Purple
  12. Jazz Hoot
  13. A Taste of Honey
  14. Satin Doll
  15. After You've Gone
  16. The Strut
  17. My Wish
  18. Cousins
  19. That's Where It Is
  20. Watermelon Man
  21. Body and Soul
  22. Better Get It in Your Soul
  23. Jazz Me Blues
  24. El Toro Grande
  25. Days of Wine and Roses
  26. Caldonia
  27. Wailin' in the Woodshed
  28. The Good Earth
  29. Sidewalks of Cuba
  30. I Can't Get Started
  31. Bijou
  32. Apple Honey
  33. The Good Life
  34. Bedroom Eyes
  35. The Things We Said Today
  36. Just Squeeze Me
  37. What Kind of Fool Am I?
  38. Dr. Wong's Bag
  39. Everybody Loves Somebody
  40. Wa-Wa Blues
  41. Dear John C
  42. Blue Monk
  43. You Dirty Dog
  44. Pour House Blues