Woody Herman

Keep on Keepin' On: 1968-1970

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After the period of the Young Thundering Herd (documented by Philips and Columbia) and prior to his projects for Fantasy, Woody Herman recorded three generally commercial albums for Cadet. Herman always believed in having his band stay updated and modern, and he supported his younger musicians in their quest to perform new and current music. His output for Cadet, however, was quite streaky, ranging from worthwhile new originals to covers of pop and rock tunes that sometimes sounded a bit awkward. This single CD from 1998 has six of the ten selections originally on Light My Fire, four of the ten tunes from Heavy Exposure, and three of the six numbers (plus a previously unreleased "The Indigenous Artifact") from 1970's Woody. Completists will want to search for the three earlier LPs but should be warned that they are quite erratic and often dated. Even in this best-of collection, there are some throwaways (such as "My Cherie Amour" and "Aquarius"), but the better selections ("Keep On Keepin' On" which has some heated Sal Nistico tenor; "Impressions of Strayhorn," and Alan Broadbent's massive everything-but-the-kitchen-sink reworking of "Blues in the Night") make the set overall better than expected.

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