Woody Herman's Big New Herd includes: Woody Herman (alto saxophone, clarinet); Don Lanphere (alto & tenor saxophones); Zoot Sims, Bill Perkins, Richie Kamuca (tenor saxophone); Med Flory (baritone saxophone); Al Porcino, Conte Candoli, Ray Linn, Frank Huggins (trumpet); Bill Chase, Urbie Green, Sy Zentner, Bill Smiley (trombone); Victor Feldman (vibraphone, piano); Charlie Byrd (guitar); Monty Budwig (bass); Mel Lewis (drums).
Producer: Nesuhi Ertegun.
Reissue producers: Donald Elfman, Naomi Yoshii.
Recorded live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, California on October 3, 1959. Originally released on Atlantic (1328). Includes liner notes by Ralph J. Gleason.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using HDCD technology.
Personnel: Woody Herman (clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Charlie Byrd (guitar); Tom Dowd (recorder); Don Lanphere (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Richie Kamuca, Zoot Sims, Bill Perkins (tenor saxophone); Med Flory (baritone saxophone); Urbie Green (trumpet, trombone); Conte Candoli, Al Porcino, Ray Linn, Frank Huggins (trumpet); Bill Smiley, Si Zentner, Bill Chase (trombone); Victor Feldman (piano, vibraphone); Mel Lewis (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Jon Hendricks; Ralph J. Gleason.
Recording information: 10/03/1959.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Victor Feldman; Zoot Sims; Bill Perkins; Charlie Byrd.
Originally released on Atlantic Records in 1960, BIG NEW HERD is a lively, imaginative slice of modern/post-Swing Era big band jazz. Herman leads an edition of his Herd that features many players that would become leaders in their own right: Zoot Sims, Charlie Byrd, Mel Lewis and Victor Feldman among them. The tunes are a nice cross-section of what Herman does best: rich interpretations of standards ("Skylark") and blues with Ellington overtones ("Like Some Blues Man," featuring an incredibly bluesy acoustic guitar solo from Byrd).
There is also a fusion of intricate yet hard-swinging orchestration with hot bebop and cool solos (the classic "Four Brothers," "Monterey Apple Tree"). The sound quality has a few minor glitches, but nothing to detract from these spirited performances. All the soloists shine throughout--everyone is sharp and focused (especially Herman on clarinet, Conte Candoli on trumpet, and Feldman). Recommended to lovers of driving jazz.