Woody Herman

Heavy Exposure

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The Richard Evans-produced Heavy Exposure is a bold if ultimately unsuccessful attempt to fuse Woody Herman's signature big-band approach with more contemporary soul-jazz and bossa nova sensibilities, embracing pop hits like "Aquarius," "My Cherie Amour" and "Sex Machine" alongside more conventional jazz fare like Herbie Mann's "Memphis Underground," the record simply casts too wide a net, and never settles into a coherent groove. That being said, there are some choice cuts here, most notably the funky "The Hut" and a blistering reading of the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," and to Herman's credit the album's commercial overtures feel neither forced nor awkward.