The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - RAY COMISKEY

Woody Her­man Mo­saic Se­lect

Her­man’s early 1960s big band had tal­ented soloists and an ensem­ble awe­some in its power, pre­ci­sion and fi­nesse. It also had that in­de­fin­able chem­istry, anal­o­gous to but dif­fer­ent from, the con­gre­ga­tional feel of black churches, that turns a good band into a great one. And it had a su­perb Nat Pierce-Chuck An­drus-Jake Hanna rhythm sec­tion and such apt writ­ers as Pierce, Bill Hol­man and Ralph Burns. This three-CD set in­cludes all five of Her­man’s big band Philips al­bums, of which only Woody Her­man-1963 has pre­vi­ously ap­peared on CD. The oth­ers are Woody Her­man: 1964 and the live al­bums En­core (a Grammy win­ner), The Swing­ing Her­man Herd Recorded Live and Woody’s Big Band Good­ies. This is not com­plex mu­sic; nei­ther is it sim­ple, nor is there much to add about it ex­cept to say that it’s thor­oughly en­joy­able. www.mo­saic records. com

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