Woody Herman: Opus de Funk

This mid-1950s version of Woody Herman’s big band was known as the Third Herd and featured a number of fine improvisers as well as arrangements by such top writers as Ralph Burns, Bill Holman and Nat Pierce. Pierce’s arrangement of Horace Silver’s catchy blues tune “Opus De Funk” features several excellent solos, including one by Cy Touff on the rarely heard bass trumpet and one by Lestorian tenorist Richie Kamuca that begins with a memorable, perfectly timed two-bar break.

November 06, 2007 · 0 comments


Cy Touff: Keester Parade

In addition to its witty title and hummable melody, Johnny Mandel’s “Keester Parade” offers a full-sounding small-band arrangement and laid-back blues solos by cool tenorist Richie Kamuca, a veteran of the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton orchestras, Harry “Sweets" Edison, a former Count Basie trumpet star, the peripatetic West Coast pianist Russ Freeman, and the leader himself, who performed on bass trumpet as a member of the trombone section of Woody Herman’s Third Herd. Leroy Vinnegar’s booming bass anchors the proceedings.

November 01, 2007 · 1 comment


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