Woody Herman & His Orchestra

Live in Stereo at Marion (June 8, 1957)

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The edition of the Woody Herman Orchestra heard on this CD lasted barely 18 months and appeared on only one commercially released LP for Verve, so Herman fans will be delighted with these excellent on-location recordings by legendary engineer Wally Heider, which add three bonus cuts from a September 1957 concert at the Hollywood Palladium. One of the main reasons the band was in such great form is due to the return of trombonist Bill Harris, who is frequently a featured soloist. In addition to favorites like "Woodchopper's Ball" and "Body and Soul" that are staples of the repertoire, a number of the standards and originals here were played only a handful of times by Herman, including the ballad "I Wonder," "Comes Love," and "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans," all of which are sung by Herman. Perhaps the rarest item is the unpublished "Two O Nine," a blues that alternates between a low-key mood and a boisterous atmosphere, featuring Herman's underrated alto sax. It's a shame that a complete personnel list isn't included, but this Jazz Hour CD is well worth purchasing.

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