Woody Herman: The Goof and I


The Goof and I


Woody Herman and his Orchestra


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

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Woody Herman (clarinet, bandleader), Serge Chaloff (baritone sax),

Stan Fishelson, Bernie Glow, Marky Markowitz, Ernie Royal, Shorty Rogers (trumpets), Earl Swope, Ollie Wilson, Bob Swope (trombones), Sam Marowitz (alto sax), Herb Steward, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims (tenor saxes), Gene Sargent (guitar), Fred Otis (piano), Walt Yoder (bass), Don Lamond (drums). Written by Al Cohn.


Recorded: L.A. December 27, 1947


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Woody Herman’s second of his many herds was the most bop-oriented of all of them, and when we take into consideration the many musicians who became stars in their own right later on, then this is truly an all-star band. Much of the band’s best work went unrecorded due to a recording band in 1948, but luckily there are several off-the-air live performances available.

The track under discussion, Al Cohn’s “I Got Rhythm” variant, was originally written for the Buddy Rich Orchestra, and while that setting was very good, this one is even better. Like the previous Herman herd, this ensemble could whip up an audience to a frenzy, and then play a soft, beautiful ballad. Cohn’s new arrangement features solos by Chaloff, Swope and the leader. The out chorus really shows off how well this band played and sounded, now with one alto, three tenors (“Four Brothers” was recorded on the same day).and baritone comprising the sax section (the usual setup was 2 altos, 2 tenors and baritone).

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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