Woody Herman: Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!


Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!


Woody Herman (vocals)


Blowin' Up A Storm: The Columbia Years 1945-1947 (Columbia/Legacy C2K 65646)

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Woody Herman (vocals), Sonny Berman (trumpet), Bill Harris (trombone),

Pete Candoli, Irv Lewis, Shorty Rogers, Neal Hefti (trumpets), Ed Kiefer, Ralph Pfeffner (trombones), John LaPorta, Sam Marowitz (alto saxes), Flip Phillips, Mickey Folus (tenor saxes), Sam Rubinwitch (baritone sax), Billy Bauer (guitar), Tony Aless (piano), Chubby Jackson (bass), Don Lamond (drums)


Composed by Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne; arranged by Neal Hefti


Recorded: New York, December 10, 1945


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

It consistently amazes me how arrangers could take a brand new song and create an interesting, original framework for a large ensemble like a big band on short notice. If only all Christmas songs were as wonderful as this one, and while it never became the monster hit that "White Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" became, this song has in fact grown in popularity to where it is now heard on many TV and radio commercials each year during the holiday season.

Those who know Neal Hefti only from his themes for The Odd Couple and Batman, and his instrumental pieces for Count Basie such as "Cute" and "Li'l Darlin'" may be shocked listening to this brilliant setting for The First Herd. While the introduction was originally much longer (and unfortunately is lost forever as Woody's book from that era was destroyed), enough of it begins this recording. Musicians will also be surprised that the first part of the arrangement is in the key of E, which creates an immediate intonation problem for most bands. In the hands of these musicians, this music is lovely and exciting. A relaxed Herman vocal leads to a sudden modulation to Ab and a solo by Sonny Berman, who left us all too soon because of drug problems. Bill Harris takes up the solo as the background slyly shifts key, finally landing on D. The solo continues as the background shifts key again, with Herman returning in F. It looks like the setting may very well stay in this key, except that a series of loud, held chords finally end the piece in the key of C!!!

Yes, pop records once sounded as powerful and beautiful as this one.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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