Author: Reny, Bob
Date published: March 1, 2010
My Kind of Broadway
Wounded Bird WOU 9157 [CD]
Collective personnel: Woody Herman (cl,as,vcl) Bill Chase, Dusko Goykovich (tp,arr), Gerald Lamy, Don Rader, Bob Shew, Ziggy Harrell, Larry Ford, Billy Hunt (tp) Harry Southhall, Bob Stroup, Phil Wilson (tb) Andy McGhee, Gary Klein (ts) Raoul Romero (ts,arr) Tom Anastas (bar) Nat Pierce (p,arr) Chuck Andrus (b) Ronnie Zito (d) Bill Holman (arr). New York City, Nov 27, 1964, Feb 15 & 24, 1965, March 13, 1965.
I Feel Pretty/A Lot of Livin' to Do/Get Me to The Church on Time/Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)/My Favorite Things/I Do Like You/Never Will I Marry/Warm All Over/This Can't Be Love/Somewhere/Hello, Young Lovers/The Sound of Music. TT 39:37
This combination of Broadway show tunes and Herman's 1964/1965 Swingin' Herd is electric. Some critics, at the time of the album's release, made adverse comments, but I'm here to tell you that the band is crackling; driven by Zito's outstanding drumming, and the solos, particularly those by trumpeter Bill Chase and pianist Pierce, are exciting. As mentioned in the Sarah Vaughan-Herman review three pages earlier, this is the same band that made the wonderful Philips albums recently served-up by Mosaic. Broadway was the first album by Herman on his return to Columbia after leaving Philips. Woody's Winners was his second package for Columbia. Sadly, Herman's highly regarded bebop oriented tenor soloist, Sal Nistico, was no longer with the Swingin' Herd when it moved to Columbia Records. He returned to play for Herman on a number of later dates until his death in 1991.
The arrangements by Bill Holman, Nat Pierce, Raoul Romero, and Bill Chase let you hear the melody of these beautiful songs, but keeps them encased in modern sometimes bop tinged sound. Herman even sings on This Can't be Love, just as he has done over the years and his pipes are in pretty good shape.
Trumpeter Bill Chase, who would soon start up his own jazz-rock big band, is poetic and moving on Leonard Bernstein's Somewhere, Nat Pierce shines on A Lot of Livin' to Do (from Charles Strouse & Lee Adams' Broadway show, Bye, Bye Birdie) and Who Can I Turn To? (Leslie Bricusse's hit from The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd), Herman, Phil Wilson (tb), and Pierce change Frank Loesser's ballad Never Will I Marry into a memorable high octane performance, and Herman, Goykovish (tp), and the band just sweep you away on Hello, Young Lovers. On CD for the first time, you can buy the album at a number of internet sites; it was originally released in 1965 on Columbia CS 9157.
* Bob Reny