Woody Herman: The Good Earth


The Good Earth


Woody Herman (clarinet)


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

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Woody Herman (clarinet), Flip Phillips (tenor sax), Dave Tough (drums),

Sonny Berman, Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Ray Linn, Neal Hefti (trumpets), Bill Harris, Ed Kiefer, Ralph Pfeffner (trombones), John LaPorta, Sam Marowitz (alto saxes), Pete Mondello (tenor sax), Skippy DeSair (baritone sax), Billy Bauer (guitar), Tony Aless (piano), Chubby Jackson (bass)


Composed by Neal Hefti


Recorded: New York, August 20, 1945


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

This was in the Herman book for almost a year before it was recorded for Columbia Records, and was originally called "Helen of Troy." Neal Hefti has said that he was heavily influenced by the trumpet stylings and modern vocabulary of Dizzy Gillespie, and this setting would have been right at home in Gillespie's own big band book. From Herman's brief clarinet utterances, Filp Phillips's solo statement, to Dave Tough's amazing and colorful drumming, the highlights fly fast and furiously. Equally important, this is no simple riff-tune with some backgrounds and a slam-bang finish. This is a structured composition that can be danced to; one idea leads to another effortlessly. Hefti's pre-1950 output continues to amaze with its excitement, colors and compositional sensibilities.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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