Woody Herman: Wild Root
Woody Herman (clarinet)
Blowin' Up A Storm: The Columbia Years 1945-1947 (Columbia/Legacy C2K 65646)
(clarinet) Sonny Berman, Irv Lewis, Ray Linn, Neal Hefti (trumpets), Ed Kiefer, Ralph Pfeffner (trombones), Sam Marowitz, John LaPorta (alto saxes), Pete Mondello (tenor sax), Skippy DeSair (baritone sax), Billy Bauer (guitar), Tony Aless (piano), Chubby Jackson (bass), Dave Tough (drums).
Composed by Neal Hefti.
Recorded: New York, September 8, 1945
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Once upon a time, an alternate take of "Wild Root" was the more commonly heard performance whenever the title would be reissued by Columbia, probably an accident since it is marked Take 1. It's is a perfectly good performance, but Take 2, the original choice for issue, is clearly the gem. The solos by Flip Phillips, Bill Harris, Herman himself and Pete Candoli show each at the top of his form, and the band blasts through this Neal Hefti original with the force of a rocket blasting through space. If you know someone who has never heard any recordings of the First Herd, this is the place to start.
Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof