Woody Herman: The Goof and I

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).

October 04, 2009 · 0 comments


Serge Chaloff: The Goof and I

A study in tragedy, Serge Chaloff’s life was cut short just as a promising career was taking off. A tremendously gifted baritonist who was championed by Stan Kenton and George Wein, Chaloff struggled to kick a heroin habit that held him back for several years. Blue Serge was only the second session Chaloff led before being knocked down by an inoperable tumor. His version of Al Cohn’s “The Goof and I” vividly illustrates Chaloff’s technical brilliance, easily on a par with Gerry Mulligan for creativity and facility. The all-star rhythm section ably backs the baritonist through some fairly heinous bebop twists.

November 11, 2007 · 0 comments


Scott Hamilton: The Goof and I

It’s something of an anomaly for a tenor saxophonist born in 1954 to reflect the musical values of Swing Era players Lester Young, Ben Webster, and Illinois Jacquet more than those of the modernists of his own generation. But that describes Scott Hamilton, one of the most proficient tenorists around. With a superb English rhythm section, Hamilton takes Al Cohn’s “The Goof and I,” made famous by Woody Herman’s Second Herd, at an exhilarating tempo, spinning nonstop phrases with unrelenting momentum.

November 02, 2007 · 0 comments


Previous Page | Next Page