Woody Herman and his Swingin’ Herd, 1964

by | Mar 27, 2006 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Woody Herman and his Swingin’ Herd, 1964

Performers incl. Herman, clarinet, alto sax & vocals; Jack Hanna, drums; Sal Nistico, trumpet; Nat Pierce, piano & arrangements
Studio: CBC-TV/VAI 4345
Video: 4:3 full frame B&W
Audio: PCM mono
Length: 50 minutes
Rating: ****

1964 was back at a time when American network hadn’t yet entirely given up on the presentation of jazz on TV. The best hour of jazz ever on national TV had occurred just in 1957 – The Sound of Jazz on CBS.  But in general jazz on TV happened much more in Europe and in this case in Canada.  Herman visited Montreal in January of 1964 with one of his many “herds” and turned out this swinging concert of continuous playing. If there had been a studio MC, he’s been edited out so we have just one tune after another, and Herman in the spotlight doing his thing – such as his famous vocal on the closing Caldonia.  Herman was noted for encouraging emerging young performers and most of players listed here will not be known to fans, but the above-named stood out.  The mono sound is not bad at all, and if the images are kinescopes they are excellent quality and quite a bit of detail is discernible in the long shots of the entire band.

Tunes: Blue Flame, Jazz Me Blues, Woodchopper’s Ball, Early Autumn, That’s Where It Is, Sidewalks of Cuba, Lonesome Old Town, Apple Honey, The Good Earth, Body and Soul, Four Brothers, Days of Wind and Roses, Caldonia.

– John Henry

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