miles65

New Woody Herman Mosaic

347 posts in this topic

On 11/19/2019 at 5:28 PM, medjuck said:

I've been pleasantly surprised.   I knew so little about Herman that I didn't know I was going to hear  some Ben Webster, Budd Johnson and Johnny Hodges on these cds. 

I was pretty excited to get the Decca recordings with Budd, Ben, and Johnny Hodges, but now, after decades of enjoying Woody Herman, I find that I'm very interested in Flip Phillips.  I didn't see that coming!

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As Jeff Sultanof points out, Flip's solo on "Sweet and Lovely" is something else.

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Was he playing any differently than he was by the time the band went to Columbia?

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Was he playing any differently than he was by the time the band went to Columbia?

Not that I can speak to authoritatively;  this is just a matter of something finally dawning on me.  

Edited by Jim Duckworth

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Was he playing any differently than he was by the time the band went to Columbia?

 

 Maybe more in a personal offshoot of a warm, lyrical, rolling and tumbling Ben Webster mode -- that's certainly true of his playing on "Sweet and Lovely."  But then on the tracks I've heard so far, Flip isn't called upon to be a chief source of heat and excitement, nothing JATP-like from him.

BTW, the First Herd part of the set concludes with the March 25, 1946 Carnegie Hall concert, not issued by MGM until 1952  -- from there we skip to Jan. 4, 1951 and a date backing Billy Eckstine with West Coast studio players and a Jan. 7 date with a newly formed transitional Herman band that bears no resemblance in personnel to the First Herd nor to that of the Second Herd either. The big gap came in Dec. 1946 when Herman broke up the First Herd because his wife Charlotte had become an alcoholic and pill addict and he had to minister to her. When she recovered the Second Herd was formed, but the 1951 band was, again, a different outfit.

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51 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

...his wife Charlotte had become an alcoholic and pill addict and he had to minister to her. When she recovered the Second Herd was formed...

omg, there is SO much irony there...

53 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Maybe more in a personal offshoot of a warm, lyrical, rolling and tumbling Ben Webster mode -- that's certainly true of his playing on "Sweet and Lovely."  But then on the tracks I've heard so far, Flip isn't called upon to be a chief source of heat and excitement, nothing JATP-like from him.

nor on the Columbia sides, really.

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5 minutes ago, JSngry said:

 

"..his wife Charlotte had become an alcoholic and pill addict and he had to minister to her. When she recovered the Second Herd was formed..."

omg, there is SO much irony there...

 

You mean because the Second Herd probably was  in the running as THE junky band?

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Yeah, like Woody got addicted to taking care of addicts!

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On 12/3/2019 at 3:21 PM, Larry Kart said:

Am enjoying Disc 1. Frances Wayne's warm vocals are a pleasure, Woody's too, Ben Webster's numerous solos are a delight, Dave Matthews' Ellington-influenced arrangements  are tasty and Ralph Burns' are often exceptional. I was surprised that excellent annotator Jeff Sultanof, who notices a great many things worth pointing out, failed to mention that Burns' handsome setting of "Speak Low" begins (unless I'm somehow mistaken) with a direct quote from the intro to Ellington's "KoKo."

Ditto. Also listening to disc 1 (mine arrived yesterday). I remembered the presence of Ellingtonians from the (now) ancient "Turning Point" LP on the old Decca Jazz Heritage series, but I haven't listened to that one in ages due to the dreadful sound. Nice to have these recordings from Mosaic with some fine Webster and Hodges. Looking forward to listening to the rest of the set.

 

 

 

gregmo

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8 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Yeah, like Woody got addicted to taking care of addicts!

Yes, but do you really think that was the case or was it more circumstantial -- like so many of the players of the time who fit in musically also were addicts? Also, there is a cryptic reference in Sultanof's notes to Phil Urso being fired for "insubordination on May 21, 1951" (he was replaced by Bill Perkins). What in the context of those Herman bands could insubordination have been? Then there is the famous story of Woody firing Serge Chaloff (THE demon of the Second Herd) while they both stood at a bar and pissing down Serge's leg as he did so. Another story, thought not an ugly one, via Steve Voce: " a young man arrived in the band's dressing room in New Orleans in 1952. 'Can I help you?' Dick Hafer asked. 'I've come to take Urbie Green's place,' said the young man. The sidemen fell about laughing. That night Woody pointed to Carl Fontana to take his first solo with the band. Fontana was now the solo trombone chair in the band; Green played lead."

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23 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

 Also, there is a cryptic reference in Sultanof's notes to Phil Urso being fired for "insubordination on May 21, 1951" (he was replaced by Bill Perkins). 

As a random aside, a dual-tenor/tenor-duel 'Phil and Bill' album would have been a good one.

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32 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Yes, but do you really think that was the case or was it more circumstantial -- like so many of the players of the time who fit in musically also were addicts? Also, there is a cryptic reference in Sultanof's notes to Phil Urso being fired for "insubordination on May 21, 1951" (he was replaced by Bill Perkins). What in the context of those Herman bands could insubordination have been? Then there is the famous story of Woody firing Serge Chaloff (THE demon of the Second Herd) while they both stood at a bar and pissing down Serge's leg as he did so. Another story, thought not an ugly one, via Steve Voce: " a young man arrived in the band's dressing room in New Orleans in 1952. 'Can I help you?' Dick Hafer asked. 'I've come to take Urbie Green's place,' said the young man. The sidemen fell about laughing. That night Woody pointed to Carl Fontana to take his first solo with the band. Fontana was now the solo trombone chair in the band; Green played lead."

I read about it somewhere and I'm trying to remember the details, but it seems to me that Urso didn't want to play "Early Autumn", or wasn't playing it the way Herman wanted.  

I know how it sounds, but be fair to Carl, I think he really was coming in to take Green's place for a week or two, as Urbie was away for a family emergency or something. And of course, when Urbie came back, Woody simply kept Carl on (and who wouldn't?)  

Edited by John Tapscott

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56 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Yes, but do you really think that was the case or was it more circumstantial -- like so many of the players of the time who fit in musically also were addicts?

I have neither the desire nor the ability to make an informed call on that one, I just think it's really funny in the dark/ironic way.

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On 12/4/2019 at 1:01 PM, Jim Duckworth said:

I was pretty excited to get the Decca recordings with Budd, Ben, and Johnny Hodges, but now, after decades of enjoying Woody Herman, I find that I'm very interested in Flip Phillips.  I didn't see that coming!

Different era Jim but I still have an open offer of a later era flip CD in the pay it forward thread.

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Just ordered the new Herman box - along with the Mobley and Bing on last chance. My first Mosaic order for a fair old while.

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Woody arrived today and no customs charges. Now playing Disc II Perdido with Ray Nance, Johnny Hodges and Juan Tizol guesting. 

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Almost at the end of the set. The Herman Mars label band was a very good one -- all those tasty Ralph Burns arrangements, solos from Carl Fontana and Arno Marsh, and Art Mardigan was a cooking drummer. Don't miss Jerry Coker's rather abstract tenor solo on "I Love Paris" -- it's close to being in the Warne (not Arno) Marsh class, not that Arno wasn't a fine player.

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On 12/17/2019 at 0:41 PM, Larry Kart said:

Almost at the end of the set. The Herman Mars label band was a very good one -- all those tasty Ralph Burns arrangements, solos from Carl Fontana and Arno Marsh, and Art Mardigan was a cooking drummer. Don't miss Jerry Coker's rather abstract tenor solo on "I Love Paris" -- it's close to being in the Warne (not Arno) Marsh class, not that Arno wasn't a fine player.

I also enjoyed the Mars material a lot, along with the Deccas. The MGM stuff...not so much.

 

 

gregmo

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On 12/19/2019 at 1:40 PM, gmonahan said:

I also enjoyed the Mars material a lot, along with the Deccas. The MGM stuff...not so much.

 

 

gregmo

There’s definitely a bit of a sag in the middle of the set with the MGM material. Sultanof makes a case for some of it, but in general I don’t think it’s at the level of what precedes or follows. Starting through the box a second time this morning... very grateful that Mosaic managed to get this out. 

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On disc 7 my second time through the set. Lots of new-to-me Ralph Burns arrangements and several compositions here like “Terrissita” and “Beau Jazz” that have helped make this collection a joy to listen to. Much appreciation to Mosaic for persevering and getting it out.

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For those who enjoy this set and the First Herd in general, a recommendation for this CD (Sultanof alludes to one of the two broadcasts it includes in his notes):

One Two Three Four Jump

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