Woody Herman spent his twilight years recording for the Concord label, both with his big band and in all-star groups that he sponsored. For this 1998 sampler CD, Herman & His Orchestra are featured on a dozen selections (not programmed in chronological order) that often welcome guests. Herman himself takes clarinet solos on only six of the numbers, but that is compensated for by appearances from Stan Getz (on "The Dolphin" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life"), Woody Shaw, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Flip Phillips ("Perdido") and Al Cohn. Some of Herman's earlier hits are revisited (including "Four Brothers" and "Lemon Drop"); the emphasis overall is on jazz standards. Of the soloists from Herman's big band itself, tenor saxophonist Frank Tiberi ("Central Park West"), baritonist Mike Brignola, and trombonist John Fedchock (featured on "'Round Midnight") have the best spots.
The Concord Jazz Heritage Series Review
by Scott Yanow