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Woody Herman-1963 Swingin'est Big Band Ever (25th Year-His Greatest) Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 7, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 7, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Umvd Labels
  • ASIN: B0000631D8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best big-band records in history.
Basie's New Testament high point had passed. Ellington had reached his latter-day summit and had begun the inconsistent on-and-off pattern that would haunt his band for the rest of his life. Terry Gibbs's dreamy Dream Band was no more. Kenton was all over the map looking for an identity.
But Woody Herman's band never sounded better. No recording captures the mix of thundering punch and Fred Astaire lightness better than "Woody Herman 1963."
Some of the most thrilling moments in big-band jazz include the shout chorus of "Blues for J.P." and the stop-time moments of "Sister Sadie." This is updated First Herd whallop with hard bop harmonies, and the marriage is a natural one: Woody's band had always been identified with the blues.
There are the dynamic thrills-and-chills of "Sig Ep" and the controlled funk ecstasy of "Mo-Lasses." Wonderful wacky humor mixed with exoticism in "Camel Walk" and the roar of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."
This album displays that at their best there was no better big-band drummer than Jake Hanna, no better rhythm pianist than Nat Pierce, no better tenor soloist than Sal Nistico, and no better lead trumpet sound than Bill Chase's.
There can be different, but not better.
There was no better bandleader than Woody Herman.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Finally Verve Records has released what is probably Woody's best recording of (in my opinion) his best Herd. The recording sounds great (the previous Jazz Masters series had excerpts from this session on it, but they were the mono versions!), nice wide stereo separation. But the real reason to get this recording is the incredibly tight band. Man these guys swing...neither Basie or Ferguson had anything on this band during this era. So don't waste any time...this baby goes out of print in May 2005. Get it today!
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this album a short time ago. I also have it on vinyl purchased when it was originlly issued back in the '60's. The band and Mr. Herman is worth 100 stars. That said a brief comment about the sound. All reissues should sound this good. The sound reproduction is absolutely first rate. You listen to this and you are probably hearing the band as it sounded when Woody was listening to the playbacks. It is that good. Highly recommend this classic. Mosaic plans on doing all the Philips things Woody did. I hope they strive to reproduce the effort that went into making this disc a reality. Long live Woody!!!
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Format: Audio CD
The band(s) that Woody led between '62-'65 were the hippest, most exciting and swingnest big bands I ever heard. The arrangements (most done by long time Herman pianist Nat Pierce) are state of the art. Tenor man Sal Nistico could wail on sax like he does on this recording all night, but it's the groove that lead trumpeter Bill Chase and drummer Jake Hanna have that makes the Herd swing so well.

Listen how Chase and Hanna "lock in" and push the band to levels of intensity beyond comparison. Bill Chase, the greatest "lead trumpet player" in history as far as I'm concerned, had a "spin" on his sound that sepertaed him from everybody else (not to take away from Gozzo, Porcino, Audino, etc) but Chase really packs a punch. He later did the same with his own early '70's jazz-rock group called 'Chase.'

Music buddies of mine who got to know this Herman band well told me that other big bands of the time were scared of this particular Herman band...nobody could compete with them for swingin' so hard.

It took coulmbia forever to release the 'Woody's Winner's' LP on CD and I'm glad to see this Phillips recording out on cd, they need to put the Encore '63 Live album out next.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great recording of an incredible organization at its peak. Other reviewers here have praised Bill Chase, Nat Pierce, and Jake Hanna, rightfully so. But let's also give a shout-out to Phil Wilson, whose solo on "It's a Lonesome Old Town" begins with one of the all-time greatest trombone licks and goes on from there, exploiting the instrument's resources like nobody's business. Just amazing.
And something indefinable must have been added by The Old Man too, because this is not merely a collection of great soloists. They really, really swing hard. Beautiful ensemble playing at all dynamic levels--and there are many--which gave this Herd the strength of an army.
I listened to this in my car on the way home from work yesterday, and by the time the CD got to "Sig Ep" (talk about Woody's knack for just the right tempo) I was dancing in my seat. Buy this, children, and you will learn some more of what a great band can do -- even if you've already had lessons from the Count and the Duke.
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Format: Audio CD
This "special packaging" of Woody Herman's Herd is outstanding.

Woody Herman won Grammy Awards in 1963 and 1964 for best Big Band Jazz albums of the year and I can understand why! Tenor sax man Sal Nistico is fabulous on the entire CD. Woody's clarinet work is effective, and it relects a time when Woody could still cut loose, before he compromised himself on the soprono sax in his later years. The arrangements are very well-written. I have the original LP and this CD is a great addition to any serious collector's library. If you can get your hands on anything in this time period, it's worth the purchase price!
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