I was at the Providence record show/swap meet last Sunday and ran into a couple of people I had met once before. It seems that on that first meeting I had noticed they were looking at records by baritone saxists and I recommended Serge Chaloff, my personal favorite.
Well, shaw 'nuff, they became Chaloff fans too. But they only know his solo work, primarily those last two albums for Capitol (Boston Blow Up and Blue Serge, both of which are readily available...and have the Zorch Seal of Approval)...and they hadn't really heard any of his work with the Woody Herman band. Not surprising, really...this band flourished during the 1948 Musicians Union recording ban, and didn't leave a lot of issued records (a handful of sides for Columbia and an album or so's worth on Capitol). Thank goodness there are a lot of recorded broadcasts, though.
So, as promised, I'm posting a couple of great broadcast performances of the 1948-9 Woody Herman "Second Herd," aka the Four Brothers Band.
Woody Herman, clarinet, alto sax, and leader; Stan Fishelson, Bernie Glow, Red Rodney, Shorty Rogers, Ernie Royal, trumpets; Bill Harris, Earl Swope, Ollie Wilson, trombones; Bob Swift, bass trombone; Sam Marowitz, alto sax; Al Cohn, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, tenor saxes; Serge Chaloff, baritone sax; Lou Levy, piano; Chubby Jackson, bass; Don Lamond, drums; Terry Gibbs, vibes.
from WMCA Broadcast 20 November 1948: Boomsie (solos, Gibbs, Sims, Chaloff, Levy, Swope, Royal, Rodney and the solo order goes backward in order) A roaring chart by Shorty Rogers, hampered a bit by boxy recording. And the title was also the name of Chubby Jackson's wire-haired terrier. (The Joyce discography calls the song Boomsie, but the LP I got it from calls it Boompsie. Whatever...) http://www.box.net/shared/jtvr0uk7k3
from AFRS "Just Jazz" Broadcast, probably August 1949: Man, Don't Be Ridiculous: a later incarnation of the band (with a few personnel changes), but this was Serge's feature. http://www.box.net/shared/kmck1bqxbq
And from the "ridiculous" to the sublime...I also promised (to someone else I met at the show) to post a couple of sides by one of my favorite vocal groups, Mitchell's Christian Singers. I love how these guys incorporate a lot of dissonant passing tones and slide into "proper" pitch at just the right moment.
23197-1 I Got A Letter From Jesus Mitchell's Christian Singers Vocalion 04418 http://www.box.net/shared/dv5a56vtec
23204-1 Judgment Is Coming Mitchell's Christian Singers Vocalion 04273 http://www.box.net/shared/6mkegshp5x
NYC, 6-7 July 1938: Unaccompanied vocal quartet: William Brown, lead tenor; Julian Davis, tenor; Louis "Panella" Davis, baritone; Sam Bryant, bass.