Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Woody Herman
Album:The Thundering Herds 1945-1947
Sax and clarinet player Woody Herman was one of the top big band leaders. He seemed to do a better job of adjusting his sound over the years and therefore had a long career. Four Brothers is one of his signature songs. He was born May 16, 1913 in Milwaukee. He sang in vaudeville as a child and by age 15 was a professional sax player. He played in several bands until he joined the Isham Jones band in 1934. When Jones decided to retire in 1936, Herman took over the band. He sang at first but the instrumentals are what caught on during his time with Decca. Woodchopper's Ball was his first big hit in 1939. As the 40s progressed, Herman's band changed especially when Dizzy Gillespie was writing arrangements. He signed with Columbia in 1945. His first band there produced Ebony Concerto but family problems forced him to disband it. But he reformed as the Second Herd in 1947 with sax players Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Serge Chaloff. Jimmy Giuffre wrote Four Brothers and it became Herman's signature song and the band even became known as rhe Four Brothers band. This CD is a good collection of his Columbia recordings. That particular band split up in 1949 and then the Third Herd started in 1950. Things petered out a bit for Herman in the 50s. But a 1959 Monterey Jazz Festival performance reinvigorated his bag band and Herman was very active until his death on Oct. 29, 1987 at age 74. Many musicians got their start with Woody Herman so his contribution was significant. Here's Woody Herman and the Young Thundering Herd performing Four Brothers in 1975.