Of the many exciting recordings by the Swinging Herd of the '60s, this is the definitive set. With such soloists as trumpeters Bill Chase, Dusko Goykovich, and Don Rader, and tenors Sal Nistico, Andrew McGhee, and Gary Klein, this orchestra rarely had any difficulty raising the temperature. Recorded live at Basin Street West in late June of 1965, this set finds the enthusiastic band featuring a three-way trumpet battle on "23 Red," reworking "Northwest Passage" (highlighted by Sal Nistico's long tenor solo), and romping on a lengthy version of "Opus De Funk" in addition to interpreting a few ballads and blues. A very memorable CD that is available as a two-fer, (Jazz Hoot/Woody's Winners), Woody's Winners is worth inclusion in every jazz collector's library.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow