The CEO of the Jazzed Media label is a major fan of both Phil Woods and the late Woody Herman. He was concerned that few of the great charts by Woody’s Second Herd had been recorded properly during its stint in the last 1940s. This was the music of the famous Four Brothers – featuring tenor saxists Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Herbie Steward, and baritonist Serge Chaloff. Working with another producer, he engaged Ron Stout, who played trumpet with Herman during the 1980s, and they assembled The Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra which performed during a four-day event put on by the Los Angeles Jazz Institute in 2004. This is the live recording of that.
The arrangements are by such top names as Neal Hefti, Shorty Rogers and Gerry Mulligan. Mulligan’s outstanding setting of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird Suite was never recorded by Woody’s band, so this is its recording premiere. Woods makes a perfect choice to have out front of this great band and its bop-centered charts. His alto sax shines in the sonic spotlight, and Woods gets a four-minute track to himself to talk to us about humor in jazz. The band members are all listed, plus their solos are listed in order for each track. Woods n’ Woody – can’t be beat!
Tracks: Keen and Peachy, The Great Lie, Man Don’t Be Ridiculous, Yardbird Suite, My Old Flame, We the People Bop, Phil Woods on Humor in Jazz, More Moon, Ron Stout on Playing the Blues…Fast!, Boomsie.
— John Henry