Bill Perkins

Our Man Woody

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Bill Perkins pays tribute to former boss Woody Herman on this CD by leading a 14-piece big band through a variety of standards, most of which were featured by Herman. Actually, this is more of a tribute to Herman's spirit than to his original recordings, for the arrangements (by Jim Knight, John La Barbera, Dennis Mackrel, Frank Strazzeri and Mark Taylor) are much newer; not all of the songs (such as "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me," "9:20 Special" and "Blue Lou") were that closely connected with Herman's legacy, and his hits ("Four Brothers" and "Early Autumn") are absent. In addition, there is no clarinetist in the band filling in for Herman. Many soloists are heard from, including Perkins (on tenor, alto and soprano), trumpeters Bob Summers and Clay Jenkins, Bob Cooper on tenor, baritonist Jack Nimitz, trombonists Charlie Loper and Andy Martin, and pianist Strazzeri. Among the highlights of the spirited set are Perkins' feature on "I Got It Bad," "Blue Lou," Nimitz on "Sweet Lorraine," and "Blues for Woody."

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