This set, which is the best of the Woody Herman Orchestra's Concord recordings, celebrates his 50th year as a bandleader, quite an accomplishment. No guest stars are needed for this set, which shows just how strong a big band he still had. With tenor-saxophonist Frank Tiberi gradually taking over leadership duties (today he leads the ghost Woody Herman Orchestra) and trombonist John Fedchock contributing the arrangements, the band was in fine shape even if the leader was aging. Whether it be "It Don't Mean a Thing," John Coltrane's "Central Park West" (a great arrangement) or Don Grolnick's "Pools," every selection is excellent.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow